Tuesday, April 13, 2010


...they make my life in the classroom significantly easier. In fact, I'd say they've improved my classes by 10 or 15%, as compared to when I didn't require them. Obviously, learning names is better but each semester, I have over 250 students, and I only see them once a week so this isn't very realistic and I usually don't even make that much of an effort.

The students in my classes use a piece of paper, write whatever they want me to call them on it and then set it on their desk for every class. If they don't have it, they don't get their participation point so there's incentive to do it. If the student tries to hide it during class so I won't call on them, they're the first ones I pick. They learn fast that it's better to just conform to the system and take their chances instead of drawing attention to themselves.

Why it's better?

1. You can call on the sleepy/bored/innatentive students much more easily.

2. It's more personal and friendly to call someone by their name, instead of "Hey, you!"

3. It reduces a lot of stress when I ask a question and everyone looks down at their book, silent. This way, I can pick one of those people with their head down instead of waiting for eye contact.

4. Activities just go quicker when I can call someone's name, instead of trying to get their attention. Of if that person is talking when they shouldn't be, using their name will usually get them to stop immediately.

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