July 10, 2008
I have come up with a system that is random and eliminates the idea of a teacher's pet or favoring boys over girls, etc. I take the backs of old writing tablets and cut them into about 1.5 by 3 inch cards. On both sides of each card, I use a marker to write a number from 1 to the number of students in the class. When I need a student to volunteer for something such as reading, answering a question, assigning projects, etc., I shuffle the cards and pick one randomly behind my back. If I pick number 7, student number 7 alphabetically on my class list becomes the volunteer. This system works beautifully, and I have never had a complaint about its fairness. It also enables the shy students, who never raise their hands to volunteer, a chance to participate in class activities.