Asking questions is a powerful teaching strategy, but if one child continually blurts out the answer it doesn’t give the rest of the class thinking time. Question sticks help you make sure you call on everyone in the class. These sticks also encourage self-regulation because they remind children to wait their turn and think quietly. Prepare these question sticks ahead of time and then when school starts all you have to do is write your students’ names on the sticks.
Hint! Tell children to smile if they know the answer and maybe you’ll chose their stick!!!
What? jumbo craft sticks, red and green markers, cup
How? Color one end of each stick green and the other end red. Write children’s names in the middle and place in the cup with the green end on top. Ask a question and then swirl the cup around. Pull out a stick and that child gets to answer the question. If a child doesn’t know the answer it’s great to let them “phone a friend” (ask someone else) or “ask the audience” (group response). Place their stick back in the can with the red on top. When all the sticks are red and every child has had a chance to answer a question, turn them over and begin again.
I’ve also got some brain prompt cards you can make and save on a book ring. Use these to develop higher level thinking strategies in your students.