Thumbs Up….Turn & Talk! {Spark Student Motivation Saturday}

Today, I’m linking up with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Student Motivation Saturday!




By the time my kids get to me, they know how to play the game to stay unnoticed.  The ones who know are extremely vocal about knowing…and the ones who don’t just stay quiet and disappear.  

With the EDI model we’re encouraged to randomly call on students. But who would want to embarrass a child who has no idea what the answer is?  So, I use the “Thumps Up” model quickly followed by “Turn and Talk”.

thumbs up

When I ask a questions during guided practice, I tell students to put their thumbs up when they have their answer.  Thumbs up right in front of them, so only I can see.  This gives the students who needs a bit more time just that – time!  Once I see all thumbs up I tell them to turn and talk to their partner and what the answer is and why.  And I’m not talking about them yelling out one letter, word or phrase.  They have to say, “I think the answer is __________ because_____________”.  Then and only then do we check whole group for the answer and I chose students to comment.  That way everyone has had a chance to participate even if they’re not the one to share out. And it gives my struggling students a chance to hear good thinking and emulate it which increases their confidence.  

You should head on over the Joanne’s blog and share you great idea. Plus, she and Fourth Grade Flipper have an amazing giveaway going on!  Stop by and get the chance to earn some goodies.


Until the next time,




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One Comment
  1. Carla, I love your method of assessing your students’ learning and making sure everyone is held accountable! Such a non-threatening and encouraging environment! (You just gave me an idea for a future Spark Motivation!) Thanks for sharing a great idea!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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