Raising hands for help... Other options?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BreezyGirl, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Jul 22, 2016

    How many of you have been in a situation where many of your students raise their hands and it's hard to remember who raised their hand because they put it down?

    Has anyone tried using red and yellow cups or cards to be placed on the desks instead? I am in Grade 5/6 so am thinking the card route. Has anyone tried this?

    My daughter's teacher did the 3 Before Me which I also liked. I could incorporate both. I just find the hand raising doesn't work well for me.

    Any other suggestions or comments? :)
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I started to use the red/yellow/green card (laminated squares of each color) because of seeing the need during our writing workshop time, but I found that many would just stick it onto red or yellow right away...so personally, I'm still figuring it out. Are you looking to fix the system within a particular subject? Or all subjects?
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  5. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    I haven't tried that yet. It looks like a great idea!
     
  6. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    This is what I was concerned about as even with the hands, some of my students just needed constant confirmation that they were doing it right. I would like to have something that could be used in all subject areas, though I think in math it would be most helpful.

    Have you tried the 3 Before Me? Ask three people and then go to the teacher. My daughter said she really liked this. I'm
    sure some students would still go straight to the teacher, but it might eliminate it some. And, if after giving instructions and the whole class flips to red, it's a pretty good indication I have confused the kids. :)
     
  7. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I did 3 before me with first graders... it worked well. Also when I taught math I would do book example and then another way. I would also ask students do you figure it out another way. I always told them math is about finding tricks that work for you.
     
  8. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    I have not personally used plickers but did a PD where the trainer raved about it and we used them in the class. I am DEFINITELY going to be trying it out when I have my own classroom :)
     
  9. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    It looks like a lot of fun. I like to have fun in class. :)
     
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    And the cards are free, if you want to do the work cutting and laminating, or, like everything else in the world, they are available on Amazon ready to go. Don't know the price. What a great way to gather data - it will make admin very happy, and give a great reason for having you cell phone out all day. ;)
     
  11. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I haven't tried the 3 Before Me, but I'm also finding that the times I need it the most is during the times where I would prefer quieter work time due to needing to focus in on the task (i.e. writing, where I need them to be able to work silently for chunks of time).

    For math, where I actually feel relatively successful, I've done it a few different ways, each with success in a different manner and at different times during the year (depending on what they needed):
    -- Working with a pre-chosen partner, where they are allowed to talk whenever needed, so long as it's 100% on-task and it isn't simply asking what the answer is (the partner chosen was one of the four "compass partners" that I pre-assigned and that we used for a ton of turn-and-talks, etc... throughout the day...these were selectively chosen to match students with someone close to - slightly below or slightly above - their level)
    -- Working with a self-chosen partner or independently (this happened only when they were on top of things and were rocking it in terms of productivity and staying on task!)
    With both of the above, they had to agree on all of the answers, or convince the other that their answer was correct by explaining the "why", before coming to me, and then any incorrect problems they had to go back and discuss together to identify their error(s).
    -- Using the red/yellow/green cards (didn't use this much, since I was more focused on using it during writing, but I used this for when I needed them to be working independently with almost no noise...in those few times they had struggled the previous day on staying on-task or getting their work done).
    I also tended to plop myself at the kidney table after the main lesson/guided practice and after they had self-assessed how well they felt they understood the concept...and offered for students to come back to either: get additional support or ask a quick question that had them slightly confused but not so much they were stuck. I'd then do some reteaching/working through a problem together with those students at the table, then give them another problem while roaming the room to see how the rest of the students were doing (helping as needed), then returning to the table to see who was ready to continue off on their own, and who needed additional reteaching/support.
     
  12. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    Cell phone! The kids love it when I bring out the phone to look something up for them. I am usually the one who can't find my phone then the kids are like: I see it!!! :)

    I'm going to look into this more as I love trying new things!
     
  13. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    These sound great for math. Thanks so much for the ideas. I will be trying them this fall. I agree about the quieter working times, especially with writing.
     
  14. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    I've done a few things. Sometimes if I see some kids really have it, I'll let them be the leaders and help out. With some groups, I'll do a wait list on the board. Students will come and write their name on the board, then go back and continue to try it while they wait, or a classmate might see they need help with something they can help with. As the year goes on, a lot of times kids will come erase their own names because they realized they could work through it!
     
    a2z likes this.
  15. BreezyGirl

    BreezyGirl Companion

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    I like this a lot. I have done wait lists on the board when using classroom computers and iPads. It worked really well. After reading all of these wonderful ideas I am thinking that one system might not be the best for every subject. I think I will switch it up depending on what we are doing. :)
     
  16. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Oh yes! And sometimes, you have a group one year that you need to do something different with. It's nice to get all these ideas! (I know the wait list thing won't work with this group, I'm going to need to find something else.)

    I am curious about plickers. I have used them to gather data, and maybe I misunderstood the first post? I took it to mean raising hands when the kids had questions or needed help. How would you use plickers for that? (Sometimes I need to obvious spelled out for me!)
     
  17. Kellie McGrath

    Kellie McGrath Companion

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    One of the ways the teacher who told me about plickers used it was to ask how the kids felt they understood the concept- not at all, some, nearly all , mastered etc.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 23, 2016

    I hate 3 before me for the following reasons.

    Go interrupt 3 students who are trying to learn or work before asking me a question.

    It doesn't stop the unconfident student from asking for help. If it does, it is often because they don't want to let the others know they don't understand.

    You have no control over how the student ends up getting the information or help. You have no understanding regarding what the student is not understanding because the student went to other students.

    3 before me makes less immediate work for the teacher but is a horrible strategy, in my opinion.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jul 23, 2016

    Breezy, just write the names down on a list. That way you get the who and in the order in which you saw their hand being raised. If you keep a little notebook that has the information about the lesson, you will also have data so you can see a pattern rather than trying to rely on your memory or gut feeling about who needed help the most often or who keeps getting stuck in the same area. Sometimes we misremember these things.

    You could also have a signal with the hand to determine the level of help they need.
     
  20. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jul 23, 2016

    Consider: Index cards folded in half (length wise) to stand like a tent. On one side write large ? and other side Done. Card down means I'm working. I did this due to some students sitting with hand in air waiting, waiting and waiting eventually lapsing into a coma. Their excuse for not working - "Gee Teach, what do you expect me to do? Work with one hand?" Also, it helps to keep questions private or semi-private for the less secure and less overt types.
     

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