Wintermute here with your daily dose of Dumbr. I counted, after this week is over I will have graded 1600 different midterm test. So for those of you who complain about midterms think of the teachers who have to grade them all, including essays.
Today we are going to talk about a small technique you can try using in the classrooms. Sometimes its hard to keep the kids attention throughout the whole lecture, and there are those students who think you will never call on them, maybe because you know they have no idea what the answer is. I'm guilty of this, I know who the smart kids are and many times it seems easier to just call on the student who wont give a borderline retarded answer.
Get a can and some Popsicles. Write a name of one student on a Popsicle and place all the popicles in a can, carry the can with you, when it comes time for you to ask a question start to shake the can a little. The kids will begin to pay attention, ask your question, keep shaking the can, and then pull out a random name.
Again this goes back to my the whole repetition thing I love to use. The kids will learn, and once they hear you start shaking that can a little they will snap into hyper hearing mode. All the students will hear the question, and then when you pull out a name they will all be prepared.
Personally I really hate it when students are not paying attention and cant answer a question, I'm a pretty nice teacher and let some things go compared to other teachers. Yesterday was a testament to this, one student wouldn't answer the questions so I marked him absent as he was not participating, he was as good as gone.
I can no longer use this method because I have 400 students, that would be 400 popsicles and about 20 cans. Best of luck out there.