One of the things I always struggle with when questioning is to make sure I am asking everybody in the class. It is so easy to pick the students with their hands up, and after half a term, you realise it is the same 5 students answering questions all the time.
In my last school, I had a projector, and a whiteboard next to it, as the wall space was huge. I had heard of people using lollipop sticks in a cup to select random names to answer questions, but since I had the ability to use a board and project, I decided to make a Random Name Generator, which you just need to input the names of your class into, and it then chooses a person randomly. Having it visible on the board, meant students could see it, which really kept them on their toes.
This year, I have found that it can sometimes be rather time consuming, and also a bit in the way, now that I project on to the whiteboard. Rather than using the lollipop idea, I decided to use the random number function on my calculator.
On the Casio fx-83GT PLUS, there is a random integer button that is absolutely perfect.
I have given each of my students a number from 1 to however many in that particular class. Then on the calculator, I press "alpha" followed by "RanInt", then "1", a comma (which is "shift" and ")") and then the number of students.
This function then gives a random number in that interval, and whichever number comes up, that student answers the question.
I have found this a really nice quick alternative to the more technological Random Name Generator, and it is already starting to get more students involved in their lessons. I can see this becoming a permanent part of my teaching repertoire (although maybe not whilst trying to learn their names).
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.