CES Teaching Strategies


In typical classes, when students don’t know an answer, or don’t want to try, they quickly learn the teacher will leave them alone if they respond to a question with “I don’t know” or shrugging their shoulders. The teacher then moves on to another student. Instead, NO OPT OUT is a useful tool to get all students to the right answer, as often as possible, even if only to repeat the correct answer.



Key Idea: In order to make engaged participation the expectation, call on students regardless of whether they have raised their hands.

  • " How can I adapt my decisions about which students I call on to help all my students pay better attention?"
  • 4 Benefits to Cold Calling:
                1. Allows you to check for understanding effectively and systematically at any time whether the student is offering to tell you. 
                2. Increases speed in both terms of your pacing and the rate at which you can cover material. No more waiting for students to offer up a response. Keep them on their toes and ready to answer at anytime.
                3. Allows you to distribute work more broadly around the room and signal to students not only that are likely to be called on to participate, and therefore that they should engage in the work of the classroom.
                4. Helps to distribute work around the room not only to those who always raise their hands, but as an authority to reach out to individual students whom need to be more engaged.