Challenging (All) Students

The Case for Cold Calling


Asking students to raise their hands to signal that they have an answer is a staple of classrooms everywhere. But what if Susie never raises her hand? Calling on her anyway would put her on the spot, and make her wonder why you asked kids to raise their hands in the first place.

But what if you never asked for raised hands? What if your whole class felt accountable for thinking through an answer--however accurate--whenever you asked a question?

That's what you can achieve if you normalize Cold Calling -- that is, calling on students who aren't actively volunteering an opinion.

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Additional Resources

“Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching” MOOC

This free, open-enrollment Coursera class explains 3 high leverage ideas and techniques to help teachers thrive in their first (or fifteenth) year of teaching.

Teach Like a Champion

We share important core values with educator Doug Lemov, and have been inspired and influenced by "Teach Like a Champion." If you find Match Minis useful, we know you'll like his book, a broad and deep exploration of high-leverage, practical teaching moves.

From the author:

"Teach Like a Champion 2.0 is a complete update to the international bestseller. This teaching guide is a must-have for new and experienced teachers alike. Over 700,000 teachers around the world already know how the techniques in this book turn educators into classroom champions. With ideas for everything from classroom management to inspiring student engagement, you will be able to perfect your teaching practice right away."

Related Minis

Ratio: All Students Thinking Hard

Cold Calling boosts rigor and participation, the two elements of the key principle of classroom ratio.

Running a Turn & Talk

The Turn & Talk, like Cold Calling, is a daily instructional technique for boosting participation and rigor.

Using a Stop & Jot

The Stop & Jot, like Cold Calling, is a daily instructional technique for boosting participation and rigor.