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Program Director, Educational Technology

Think-Pair-Share

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I find the think-pair-share strategy to be helpful with shy kids. I put the question out. They have a moment to think to themselves. They pair up with one or two other students to create an answer to the question. Each pair/group reports out to the class. I use old-fashioned sand timers to keep the kids on task (1 minute or 3 minutes). Sometimes recruiting the shy or unfocused student to be the timer helps.

Program Director, Educational Technology

Great idea!

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Just become really knowledgeable about food allergies! I had to switch to non-edible treats at one point because so many kids couldn't eat or be near certain foods. Keep up the good work!

These are great ideas. And I

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These are great ideas. And I would like to add one that I used when I was student teaching which I found helpful in a math class.

I passed out "white boards" (heavy white chardboard inside sheet protectors so they were erasable) and erasable markers and told the class that I didn't want any "bench sitters," I wanted them all "in the game"--i.e., everyone needed to come up with an answer. I noticed that this technique helped get the students who often weren't paying close attention to really listen up and helped me to deal with misconceptions quickly.

Student Engagement

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This blog post was extremely helpful to me! I am a student teacher in a elementary resource room. I often find that my students have trouble engaging due to attention difficulties and sometimes the fear of being "wrong." What I have found with them is that giving the students small consistent rewards during whole-class instruction really motivates them to participate during discussions and whole-class activities. For example, I have a jar filled with small snacks (cereal, jellybeans, etc.). When a student participates I give them one. This reinforces their participation and motivates other students to participate as well. As the lesson progresses, I taper off giving the rewards, and soon all the students are engaged in discussion without having to reinforce their participation with tangible rewards. Plus, it gives them a little snack which boosts their energy levels!

Very Helpful

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I am currently in my senior year of college, in the process of graduating with a degree in Education-Special Education. I found these tips to be very helpful as I am student teaching right now. So I am having the chance to experiment with my students as what will get them involved or boost their motivation to be participating in our classes. As I know, each class year is different, but modifications can always be made. The biggest class size I have is about 7, so I found your tip 1 and 2 to be helpful and something I could use with my students. They do need extra time to think about their answers , as well as, having that awareness that they will be asked questions during this class and know what to expect is something I believe all teachers should do.

English Training Fellow at IPGKDRI, Malaysia

Randomisation

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Loved your post - good ideas!

I'm not teaching a regular everyday class any more - I lead workshops and give demo lessons - so I don't usually know much about my students, and they vary from little kids to middle-aged. I often use what I call 'icons' - everyone has a little card with a picture (something related to what we are studying) and when their picture is selected it is their turn to answer. The question is asked first, so everyone is preparing an answer, and there are always several people with the same icon. They get very excited and motivated and word is out - students come expecting something to happen.

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