This may not be, strictly speaking, an activity, but I use it in all kinds of activities and
lessons. I learned this trick from David McCargar at Tennessee State University, and I use it every day.
I buy a big box of tongue blades from a medical supply house or big drug store. They are
inexpensive. I have each student write his name as he wants to be called on a tongue blade, and I put them
in a coffee can. I have a separate can for each class. When I call on students to read, answer questions, etc.,
I pull a tongue blade out of the can, read the student's name, and put it aside. When the can is empty, I put the tongue
blades back in the can, shake it up, and begin again. This method has several advantages:
1. Students don't know when they will be called on, so they tend to stay more alert.
2. I learn the students' names more quickly.
3. There is no question of favoritism in parceling out duties.
4. No one is left out, and no one is called on twice before another student is called on once.
Actually, the students seem to enjoy it. When there is a difficult question or activity, I will sometimes
make a show of shaking the can and drawing out the stick and reading the name as if I were giving an Academy Award.
"----And the winner is ---!"