My bright idea is something that worked for me this year when it came to getting my more shy, reserved, and more introverted students to share in class. Since I'm more introverted in nature myself and would have hated my teacher to call on me without my hand up when I was in fourth grade. So naturally, I'm not a huge fan of pulling sticks to call on students or calling on them randomly if they haven't volunteered to share something. So often my shy, reserved, and introverted friends just sit politely and smile in class, but they rarely volunteer to contribute to whole class discussions.
However, one day I did something simple while my students were working on an independent task that got my shy/introverted students eager and willing to share their thinking/answers AND it also let me give ALL my students some immediate feedback about their work. Plus, it didn't require any materials or resources that I didn't have in my classroom already. All I needed was a marker!
One day, as my students were working, I randomly picked up a marker and put a smiley face next to answers that were correct or on partially completed answers that were on the right track.
Since I was using the sheet above as a review for state testing, we checked our answers together. When I asked my students to share their answers, I was surprised when some of my quiet, more reserved students eagerly raised their hand to share. It was if that smiley face sent the message to them subconsciously that it was okay to raise their hand and share their answer. They knew they were on the right track and it was safe to share.
I continued taking a marker around with me whenever my students were working on their independent work. When I saw any of my students, especially my shy friends, had a correct answer or were on their way to getting there, I put a smiley face on their paper to let them know they were on the right track.
As time passed, I noticed not only where my quiet/reserved students sharing answers in class more, so were my ED students. For those of you who don't know, I teach students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Often if they are called on and their answer is wrong, they shut down and will go weeks without volunteering to share again.
I used this smiley system throughout the last quarter of school and it really made a huge difference with my class. Towards the end of the year, many of my sweet more reserved/unsure of themselves students were volunteering to share more often, even when there wasn't a smiley face on their paper. Plus I was able to get lots of immediate feedback to my students on their independent work.
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