A glimpse into how I use 'No Opt Out' questioning strategy in PE
A few weeks back I wrote a blog post about my goal to work on using better questioning techniques in PE. You can see the blog post here. I have been working on the 'No Opt Out' strategy which is an excellent way to keep students engaged in the discussions taking place in our classes. I have also been working to establish a no hands up policy during my lessons which has definitely resulted in better student engagement as well.
It is so easy to chose students with their hands up to answer our questions and is often times so habitual in nature, so breaking this habit requires consistency and a lot of practice. There will always be those students who like to answer all of the questions and get most of the chances to do so in our classes. By moving to a no hands up policy, the onus of answering questions becomes much more spread out and gives everyone a crack at the plate so to speak when answering these questions.
The 'No Opt Out' strategy does not allow students to remain silent or say 'I don't know' to our questions. If a student cannot answer our question, the idea is that we let them know we will be coming back to them. It is OK to move on and ask another student the same question, but we now have more options when moving back to the original student. When moving back to the original student, we now have different options. We can ask whether or not they agree with the answer just given and to explain why or why not. We can ask them to extend upon the answer giving us more information or we can ask them to summarize what the previous person had just said. These are only a few examples, but the strategies that I have been working on.
Below is a very short video of a health related fitness discussion with my grade 1 class. I am always reminding the students that I will not answer them if their hand is up as I am still working to establish this routine, to make it a habit. The video cuts off a bit early, but I go back and ask a student to summarize any of the answers that were given. You'll notice at the very end of this short video that one student puts his hand up to answer but immediately drops it back down as he remembers the no hands up policy. It must be working!!