Tag Archives: Teaching Methods

The Stick Jar: One Tool – Many Uses

By Sina Rautman

Imag­ine the fol­low­ing sit­u­a­tion: You want your stu­dents to read out their results, but you are run­ning low on time. Your stu­dents are high­ly moti­vat­ed, and most of them want to share their work with the class, but it is clear from the start that you can’t involve all of them. What do you do now? Pick your ‘favorite’ child? Pick the child who did the best job as an excel­lent exam­ple to the rest of the class? Or would it be bet­ter to involve the shy child and give her a chance to con­tribute to the class? Will some chil­dren feel neglect­ed or preferred?

JarLast sum­mer, I spent three months in the Unit­ed States where I’d been offered a chance to observe dif­fer­ent ele­men­tary school class­es. There I found a solu­tion to the prob­lem men­tioned above. In one class – full of high­ly moti­vat­ed fourth graders – I noticed a beau­ti­ful­ly dec­o­rat­ed jar filled with tongue depres­sors. At first, I could­n’t think of any pur­pose for this glass, so I decid­ed to ask the teacher about it after class.

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