Buy some Lollipop sticks to improve questioning in your classroom!
Guest Blogger: @jsleemo
Are you thinking about buying Lollipop sticks?
Are you fed up with the same old hands join up whenever you ask a question in the classroom? Same children wanting to share their ideas while others are passive in their learning? Well, lolly stocks may just be the answer!
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I first started using lollysticks on my classroom three years ago, as part of a whole staff initiative to improve engagement in learning, and have never looked back. Each child in my class has their name on a lollystick which is then placed in my Questioning Tub. It was quite easy to set up the system within my classroom, the rule is that everyone has to have an answer to a question, even if it is ‘I don’t know’. During lessons children are expected to share discussion using talk partners as well answering questions, I then choose a child’s name from the tub to answer the question. The beauty of this is that the children are prepared to answer a question, it also takes the pressure off those children who may be too afraid or lacking in confidence to put their hands up to answer a a question. For me, it is a good way t make sure that I do not choose the same children to answer questions each time (which let’s face it, is the easy option sometimes).
Choosing a name after have asked a question means that the children must be prepared to answer and ensures that they participate in discussion with their talk partners. Choosing a name before the question has been asked, means that I can differentiate the question before t is asked ensuring that children are challenged.
I have used lollysticks throughout all years groups in KS2 and found it extremely effective. For me, using lolly sticks is a good method of ensuring children are engaged in lessons, taking the pressure off the general ‘hands up’ rules which usually apply in schools.