Question Detail

How do I help students to raise their hands and not call out when they are excited to share an answer or a question?

Dec 23, 2013 6:16pm

  • Math
  • 5-8


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    • Jan 4, 2014 11:10am

      These are all great ideas. With my first graders, I try to use my questioning in a partner format. I'll tell them to turn to their partner and discuss whatever the topic/question is at hand. I then have them share out what they thought in partner form.

      • Dec 29, 2013 9:13am

        I remind them to raise their hands or keep the answer a secret before I ask. And practice sitting quietly and not calling on anyone until everyone is settled. Then I make a point of thanking the student for raising his hand.

        I'm a big fan of Harry Wong's book--it focuses on spending energy reminding students what you want instead of reprimanding negative behavior!

        • Dec 26, 2013 3:32am

          I like Colleen's "Quiet finger" idea and sharing answer with a partner. I also use sticks . When my first graders are shouting, I quickly raise my hand and put it down in a gesture for them to imitate. Sometimes, I opened and closed the palm of my hand to stop the "me, me". Other time, I acknowledged the student who had quietly raised hand and selected that particular student.

          • Dec 26, 2013 3:57pm


            I love putting all student names on popsicle sticks. Then, whenever I ask a question, I pull out a stick and that student is the student who gets to contribute in some way. It is a great way to keep all kids engaged, and if for some reason the student you call on doesn't know the answer, he or she can ask a clarifying question that may help other students. Once the students share are comfortable with this routine, they stop calling out whenever you pull out the cup of sticks. (: I even let kids decorate their own stick to increase engagement, and they love that activity.


            • Dec 27, 2013 8:03am

              These are all great ideas. For older students I like to stress that it's not just the answer but how they got it that I am interested in. So I ask them to check answers with their group or neighbor first and then ask for someone to write out their solution including all steps on the board.
              There are also ways to use ipads if you have them share an answer and then have results grouped and compared. But I have only heard of this and not tried it myself yet!

              • Dec 28, 2013 7:23am

                On the one hand, active participation is great. On the other, try calling on students individually and start with students who would not likely call out answers.

                • Dec 29, 2013 9:14am

                  Basically exactly what Colleen said! :) Should have read her answers sooner! :)

                  • Dec 31, 2013 11:27am

                    I have had the same experience...usually every year. Everyone wants to be heard! The sticks or cards work well; I even had a student call out that I should use the cards because it's fairer (more fair?) that way. :)
                    What I like to do when I ask a question is to count off 3 (or more) as they raise their hands. I always tell them ahead of time how many I will call on. In this way, the others know who will be called on and they don't try competing as much. It also keeps the flow going and I don't get caught up trying to let everyone answer. It's funny...when I start counting, it usually results in more and more students raising their hands. They are very competitive!
                    I also like Colleen's solution of a pair-share, everyone can then be heard.
                    For those students who never raise their hand, I sometimes call on them to make the choices for me or to summarize afterwards something they heard. It's good to give them a heads up first.

                    • Jan 4, 2014 2:21pm

                      Great ideas that go along with what I do with third graders. I use clothespins with assigned student numbers. I tell the students I want them to partner-share or group-share their answer. Then a closthepin is selected, and a student is called upon. With this method, any student called upon should be able to respond/share. The selected student has to start with "My partner and I discussed ...." or "My group and I discussed...".

                      • Jan 5, 2014 6:05am

                        I have a first grade classroom. I love al of these ideas and have used most of them.. I also use a little red plastic man. I call him Mr. Polite. I hand it to the person to answer the question. Only the student with Mr. Polite can talk. When we are studying maps, I use a squishy map ball. I try to tie it to the unit we are doing. The kids like it. Sometimes I pick the next person, other times the students do.

                        • Jan 5, 2014 8:17am

                          Great answer! I also use the popsicle stick method. It does keep students ready and engaged.

                          • Feb 18, 2014 9:57pm

                            For the method with the name sticks, there is a word of caution- make sure to put the stick back in the cup. Otherwise, once a student is called on, he/she can disengage because he/she knows you already picked his/her stick. Keep it random. I had to learn this the hard way. I also like "turn your pair into a square" so kids can discuss questions even more with other members.