August 20, 2003
I have used the following two techniques which created positive participation in my classroom. One way is to use a Koosh ball. I like to start by throwing it to a student who does not participate often (maybe not the first time, but all afterwards; if the student is very timid, you might want to give it to them to throw). After their response, that person throws it to someone else to be the next student to participate. Another good participation activity is to have two teams (left and right side of the class). Start with one end asking and the opposite end on the opposite team answers. If they are unable to answer, the question goes to the end of the asking team to answer. The team that answers correctly gets a point. That way both beginning and ends of lines or rows are participating. Any talking or calling out answers is minus a point for that person's team. I've done this game with no reward except the accomplishment of the winning team having the most correct answers. After severals times, maybe an extrinsic reward would create even more excitement (Jolly Rancher each for winning team). I've done this with rhythm pattern identification in music.