Increasing Student Participation
One challenge faced by instructors is recognizing and interacting with all students each class session. Often it is difficult to foster participation by all students in your class. This week, we present tips to encourage individual student-teacher interaction and participation during each class session.
This Week's Tips
Daily Greeting Fosters Inclusion (Monday)
Stand by the classroom door and speak pleasantly to each student as he/she enters. Call each by name and ask a general question, such as “How are you today?” This friendly routine will greatly enhance student/teacher rapport and establish a respectful tone for each class session. Be certain, however, to speak to each and every student.
Participation Strategies for Inclusion (Tuesday)
Use name cards to assure that each student is provided an opportunity to respond or comment during class. Simply write the names of a class of students on index cards. Beginning with the top card, call on a student to respond and then place his/her name card face down. Once all name cards are face down, shuffle the cards and begin again.
Entrance Passes Reinforce Concepts (Wednesday)
At the beginning of class, ask each student to write down one thing they learned from the previous lesson on an index card. Allow the students to share in pairs, small groups, or the entire class. You may collect the cards and share each one anonymously with the class, which may be the preferred method if you want to dispel incorrect information. You could expand the review by allowing students to note information from a unit, semester, or even yearly content.
Exit Passes Assess and Promote Learning (Thursday)
Informally assess student learning and promote immediate individual responsibility for learning by requesting an exit pass. During closure, distribute index cards and direct students to explain a certain point or concept from the lesson, summarize the lesson, or formulate an answer to a question about the lesson. Explain that this card is the exit pass from class, then stand at the door and collect as students leave. As you collect the exit passes, take the opportunity to wish each student well until the next class session. Print the download form and require students to maintain entrance/exit passes in a section of their organized notebooks for quick and pointed reviews.
Speak Outs Foster Inclusion (Friday)
Provide an opportunity for every student to verbally participate in class through a “speak out.” After material has been presented, direct students to create and hold in their minds a very clear thought related in some way to the material. Pause a moment for everyone to practice by simultaneously speaking their thoughts (this is very important in creating a level of comfort for some students), and then move quickly from one student to the next allowing each to share his/her thought. Once students become comfortable with this exercise, the speak out topics can become more directed. For example, in a math classroom, students may have to speak out about a real life application of a math concept.