[KACT] Re: Getting students to participate

  • From: "Stockam, Angela" <adiskin@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <kact@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 09:20:41 -0500

I have a couple of ideas that I have acquired via grading the Kansas
Performance Assessment for new teachers.  I haven't actually tried them
in class so I can't verify the value of either suggestion...but they
sound feasible!  (I teach Honors classes, so I don't have any trouble
getting kids involved in discussions!!!)
One idea involved using popsicle sticks--one for each student with their
name on it.  Place them in a beaker and pull one out with every question
you ask....then it is that student's turn to respond.  This seems a
little "elementary-ish" to me...but it may generate some participation.
I suppose you could even assign points to it somehow.
The second idea was to throw a ball (a soft one) around the room...kind
of like "popcorn reading".  The student with the ball speaks and then
chooses someone else in the room to toss the ball to.  I have a "lone
pear" in my room that I thought I might try to use instead of a ball.
Good luck!
Angela Stockam
Chemistry Instructor
USD 266 Maize High School
11600 W. 45th St. N.
Maize, Kansas 67101
316.722.0441 ext. 2253


From: kact-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:kact-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Kelly Deters
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 8:39 AM
Subject: [KACT] Getting students to participate

I'm teaching freshman for the first time ever and it's an "empirical
science" course (pre-chemistry content) that focuses on deriving
understanding from lab experiences and class discussions.  My problem is
they don't discuss!  I ask a question and the room is dead silent!  I
have an incredible wait time and they still don't answer!  I'm so used
to my upper-classmen that jump in all the time and I never have to push.
I know they'll loosen up eventually, but any tips? 

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