If you are looking for an exciting way to engage your students in the classroom and want something different, then perhaps you would be interested in the Qball by PEEQ. This technology will give that shy student in the back of the room a chance to have a voice and be heard.
Obtained through a project written on DonorsChoose and funded by Horace Mann Insurance, I have a tool to put in the hands of teachers and students at the elementary and high school level, as well as administrators who choose to engage their staff in faculty meetings and/or professional development sessions.
My first class was with Mrs. Howard’s 3rd graders. We chose to review math facts. All students stood at their desks while Mrs. Howard gave the first toss with the first math fact. Students had 5 seconds to solve the problem. If they got it right, they tossed the ball to a student of their choice. If they got it wrong, they had to sit down. We continued until one student was left standing. We started with multiplication facts, threw in some division, then mixed it up with addition and subtraction. This activity was great for recall. Students had to focus and be aware at all times, think fast on their feet, and react in a timely manner. We found that competitive students took it hard when they had been defeated, however, they bounced right back and asked for more.
That afternoon, I shared it with Kindergarten and Mrs. Mair took a different approach. We started with students sitting in a circle. They were lead with a letter of the alphabet and had to say a word that started with that letter. They rolled the ball to a student of their choice and gave them a new letter. Another activity we played was called Around the World. Students passed the ball around in the circle with the goal being to see how close to 100 they could count collaboratively.
My favorite comment from both teachers was that the child who rarely speaks up took part with enthusiasm and had a voice after all. 🙂