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Indicator 39 – Student Participation

Interacting With Students

Encouraging Participation

Indicator 39 - Student Participation UETS 2a., 3d., 3f., 5b., 7h.

Effective teachers promote active and individual student participation from the majority of their class. They pose thought provoking questions before calling on students, and randomly select a variety of students to participate, so that all students anticipate their personal involvement in the activity. Frequent student participation helps to maintain engagement with the content and increases success.


  1. Get a set of index cards or popsicle sticks. Write each student's name on a separate index card or stick. Pull names at random out of the deck to answer questions.
  2. Have all students write short responses in a journal before calling on individual students to respond to a question.
  3. Have a seating chart in front of you and quickly check off students who have responded so you can give other students an opportunity to answer.
  4. Organize small groups which use ordered turns. Each student in the group could be a number (example: 1- 4). The teacher poses the question and has the group talk it over. Then the teacher may call on the number 1’s to share their groups’ ideas. For the next question the teacher may ask the number 2’s, and so on.
  5. Plan brainstorming sessions for students to generate ideas to share with the class.
  6. Solicit a student response, and then ask another student to respond to what the first student said.
  7. Pay attention to students who are not readily participating, and purposefully bring them into the class discussion.
  8. Show that you value student comments. Use examples given by students, and let the class know where the example came from. Ask other students to add to, or to comment further, on these examples.

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