Mmm, an interesting one that, a few things come to mind but I’ll go with this comment a colleague made when she observed my classes last term-
During the Teacher-Student phase of the lesson I tend to pick the same students to answer all the time, these are the ones sitting in my “teaching zone”, that is row two & three, middle and slightly right. the students at the front, left side of the class can have a nice nap to be honest!
I know I’m doing it and after a nice chat with the favoured group I will fling a few questions around the room, so I can safely say everyone has participated something to the day’s lesson.
I justify this by saying I ask the students I know can and want to answer, not wanting to ask the others questions they might not be able to answer.
However that doesn’t make it right.
So this is what I’m going to try and do:
1) I’m going to write up some questions on the board, maybe while the students are doing a written exercise for example, so they have time to think of their answer.
2) I will tell them they must ALL put their hand up three times during the lesson.`
3) When asking a few students the same question, I will give the order of questioning for some of them, “I’m going to ask John, then Claire, and then you Jo”, for example.
4) It’s tempting to move the students so the ones having a break before are now in the limelight, but I’m not sure if it’s fair to make them sit somewhere they won’t be comfortable, what do you think?
Have you any other ideas to help me?
Write each student’s name on a Popsicle stick and put the sticks in a cup. Introduce equity sticks to the class and tell them this is how you will be choosing the student who will answer.