Tip: Instead of YOU
writing on the board, consider having a student do it.
For example, once in a while you might need to introduce a new
vocabulary word via fingerspelling. Most of the time not all
students will catch it via spelling. Rather than waste a lot
of time fingerspelling it again and again, you might want to "put it
on the board." I tend to throw a piece of chalk (or a marker)
to a student who doesn't yet understand the word and then I have one
of the students who knows the word spell it to the student with the
chalk. That way it gives a student the chance to practice
his/her expressive fingerspelling and it gets another student up out
of their seat and doing something active.
Tip: Have the
students choose the next participant.
For example, suppose you are doing a fingerspelling competition
where you spell a word to two students and then whichever of them
catches the word first wins. The person who wins gets to go
back to his/her seat. But before going back he/she has
to choose his/her replacement. This works much better
than simply going up and down the rows. Why? Because if you go
up and down the rows (or around the semi-circle) the students who
have already gone tend to switch off their brains because they feel
"off the hook." They figure that since you are going down the
row, their turn is done and they can check their text messages
because you are "busy" with the other students now. But if
there is some aspect of randomness involved the students stay awake
Tip: Choose your
participants via a random process. For example buy a 24 sided
die (dice which you can get from specialty role-playing game stores
or online). Then assign each person to a "side" of the die.
When you role it that person becomes your next participant.
And since the die may land on the same person again and again all
the students tend to stay awake because even if they have already
participated they might have to do so repeatedly.
Tip: Draw names out
of a "hat" (box, bowl, whatever) to select your next participant.
Then put that person's name BACK in the hat. That way he/she
won't switch off his/her brain when his/her turn is over.
Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is
GET IT HERE!
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