Sunday, September 25, 2016

Engagement Strategies: Beanbag Toss

Welcome to my blog series on quick & easy engagement strategies that can be used for any lesson, starting tomorrow! Missed out on the previous posts? Start here.

Engagement strategy #4 is beanbag toss!

What is it: In this strategy, you pose a question and toss a beanbag (or other item) to a student. They catch the beanbag and answer. Then they toss the beanbag to a new student.

How to use it: Ask a question and have students raise their hand to answer. Call on a student and toss them the beanbag. They answer the question. Ask a new question and have students raise their hand. The student with the beanbag will select someone, toss them the beanbag and then they answer. Repeat as desired.

How I used it this year: I used this strategy to have students brainstorm math workshop behaviors for our anchor chart. I had students sit in a circle and then asked them what it should look like/sound like during math workshop. I called on a student, passed them our emoji beanbag and they answered. I wrote their answer on our chart. Then they chose a different student, tossed the beanbag, and that student answered. We continued until we ran out of room on our anchor chart.

Why it works: Students want to answer so they can catch/toss the beanbag. They have to be listening to have something to say so they can get a turn. Tossing the beanbag made it feel more like a game and helped students stay engaged throughout this activity.

Bonus tip: Make sure you tell them they have to toss underhand. You can decide if you want students to volunteer by raising their hand or make it more of a "popcorn" style where students can pick anyone.

Your turn! Comment below how you've used this strategy. 

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