Teaching Tip: Calling on Students

When teachers ask their class a question, they most often call upon students who have raised their hands. Sometimes it is useful to call upon students regardless of whether they have raised their hands. This is a simple technique in which all you have to do is ask a question and then call out the name of the student you want to answer it. This simple technique provides several benefits.
  • It allows you to systematically check on students' understanding.
  • Over time, it provides all students with an opportunity to participate, rather than just a small number of students who almost always know the answers and frequently raise their hands.
  • It increases the pace of the class since you do not have to wait for volunteers and thrn decide who to call upon.
  • It helps to keep students on task since they never know when they will be called upon.
  • You can provide poor students with positive experiences and confidence by calling upon them for answers to questions that you are relatively certain they know.
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