To ensure all classmates share
We do a huddle before starting our class. Its kind of a discussion group that allows concerns to be brought up so we can meet their needs. While doing this we notice many students do not say anything so we call on them and we sure have brought some students to realize that they like getting their needs met.
You make a great point in this post. We need to proactively engage our students who are hesitant to participate.
Putting older and younger students together as a team seem to make the class run smoother younger students tend to play around a lot and the older students motivate them to be serious
What are some of the challenges that pop up when you group students this way? What are a few specific strategies you use when these challenges pop up?
In every class, there are those who talk all of the time, and those who rarely talk, if at all. I have found that giving oral quizzes really helps with this. As we go through a discussion, the first time a student participates (in a meaningful way) during the class period, s/he is awarded a quiz grade. They can participate more often, but they can only receive one quiz grade per day. Since everyone needs to be given the opportunity to earn quiz grades, it helps to ensure that several students will speak up during class, and the discussion will not be dominated by only one or two vocal students. I also explain to the students that this will help them in their futures, because they want to be able to contribute to the success of their future businesses/employers, and they have to be able to speak up to do so.
One way to limit the impact of students who try to dominate conversations is to direct questions to individual students by name and disciplining students who answer questions directed to classmates.
I often call on the shyer students to encourage their participation in a class discussion. If a more aggresive student tries to answer I ask him/her to hold on until the shy person has had an adequate time to speak. This doen't always work out, though. I had one student who could not speak in a class situation. He even had trouble in a personal conversation.
Your strategy is spot on. Thanks for taking the responsibility to manage the environment so that talkative students do not speak over those you call upon.