How do you involve all of your students, all of the time?
That’s one of the key challenges of teaching. In public schools in Nepal, when it comes to asking students questions, the standard technique is to let them all shout out the answer. We call this the ‘all at once’ method and it is completely ineffective as a technique to check students’ understanding. When students shout out all at once, it is impossible for the teacher to catch which students understand and which do not.
The alternative is to ask individual students. We call this the ‘one by one’ technique. The teacher can at least judge whether a student understands, but because it is done ‘one by one’ there is never enough time to ask all the students.
It becomes even less useful if the teacher allows students to self-select, by raising their hands. Inevitably it is the stronger, more confident, students who always answer. That is why, when teachers ask students questions using ‘one by one’ we encourage them to use the ‘hands down’ technique. That means, the teacher chooses who answers.
Better still are two techniques we help our teachers to use: ‘Show You Know’ and ‘Pair and Share’. Each technique encourages maximum student participation, while giving teachers maximum information about their students’ learning.
Pair and Share:
Show You Know: