Cold Call vs. Hands

Dec 21, 2015 | by Janice Smith

Cold Call is talked about a lot as an effective way to keep students engaged, get a larger percentage of students doing the thinking, and as a way to check for student understanding throughout the lesson.  Plus, it’s one of the easiest techniques to begin implementing immediately.*

One important piece of cold call, however, is knowing when to use it.  Every time you pose a question to students is not necessarily an appropriate time to use cold call, and we love this compilation clip because it shows several examples of this from Ms. Onaindia’s 9th grade math class.  It’s important while watching to note what is different about each question she’s posing, and when and why she is using each.

*Though, it’s worth noting that it’s not quite as simple as just beginning to call randomly on students without using raised hands… preparing students and building a positive culture around cold call, as well as how you respond to incorrect answers as opportunities to address misconceptions and help students grow, are all equally important components.  To see some great examples of teachers doing this, search ‘Cold Call’ in the Mission 100% video library– we’ve got lots more where this one came from.

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