Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cold Call, Not Pull Call

Somehow I came to know the technique of calling on students, in which the teacher randomly draws names from a stack of notecards, as "pull call". Actually, it is not called "pull call." It's called "Cold Call." I realized my mistake, much to my own chagrin, in front of the entire class today. And, while the name of this technique is not nearly as important as the technique itself - it has proven highly effective in Ms. Sneed's summer school class - I feel obliged to clarify out of respect for the pure act of cold calling. Mr. Cole (we teach together in the same summer school class) has made excellent use of the random selection process, and uses not only to choose kids to call on, but also as a means of learning last names. I enjoy his teaching sessions, which include a dallop of added respect and formality throught calling each student Mr. or Ms. plus his or her last name. I think the students also recognize the little bit of extra dignity this grants them. It's also a little like taking on a new, classroom persona or alias; suddenly we're all important people with titles. Cold calling will definitely appear in Ms. DeGraaf's class in August.


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