Cold Call is Technique #22 in Doug Lemov's book Teach Like a Champion. I refer to this technique throughout many of my lessons because it allows me to effectively and systematically check for understanding. You don't just want to check the students who just volunteer. You also want to know how the other students are doing. I use a variety of methods to achieve this purpose one of which I call the Ball Toss. Instead of calling on a student I simply toss the ball to them and they answer my question. I also use a strategy called Wait Time by asking the question first before tossing the ball so they can all think about the answer.
To day I will be administering a summative assessment, RL.9-10.10, for student understanding and analysis of the play Romeo and Juliet. To activate their prior knowledge I begin the activator with a different twist. I ask a student to lead the Cold Call Ball Toss technique by asking the questions and tossing the ball to his peers. I ask any questions they want that include themes, characters, and examples of the author's use of figurative language.
For the Building Knowledge part of this lesson I instruct students to read over their notes on Theme and Character Analysis, the Plot Diagram, and Figurative Language organizers to prepare for the summative test. I circulate among them checking for understanding and keeping them focused on the task of review their notes.
I designed this summative assessment using the online assessment tool Socrative. Using lap tops, student responses are visually represented for multiple choice, true/false and short answer questions. Once the exercises are completed, I receive an aggregated report. The multiple choice will be graded and I can display it for students to view after the test is completed. I also like the feature which gives the option of teacher or student paced tests. If it is teacher paced, I decide when to send them the next question to answer. Student paced enables each student to go at their desired pace.
I have found that mixing up the methods of testing can be engaging for my students. With Socrative.com I can also add images to a test question for enhancement or recall purposes. Variety is the spice of life in the classroom as well. I encourage you to try it out and let me know how if it works for your students.
First students are given their lap tops and login to Socrative.com writing the test number that I've written on the white board. The test questions are varied. They answer basic understanding, analysis, and synthesis questions by recalling basic events and character analysis RL.9-10.3, analyzing figurative language and tone, RL.9-10.4, from a variety of quotes form the play Romeo and Juliet.
As students take the test I circulate among them checking for understanding and suggesting options for correctly answering the questions citing evidence using their notes and text when needed RL.9-10.1.
At the end of the test I ask students to share one question and answer that they were sure of and one question that did not know the answer. I use this information to give me an idea of the learning trends and possible need for review.