Option one: random selection. This is my favourite method. It’s number three on this list. Advantages: it’s fair, it’s quick, everyone contributes, it keeps students on their toes. Disadvantages: student might steal the lollipop stick with their name on it.
Option two: self-selection. Students choose other students to respond to questions. E.g., ‘Muhammed, choose a girl on the front row to read the board/answer this/do that’. Use a ball as well (number six on this list). Advantage: kids sometimes quite like having the power to choose. If you’re really thinking, you can also get to know the friendship groups in the class. Disadvantage: can slow things down if you’re looking for a pacey lesson.
Option three: teacher selection. You choose a student. In theory this is good, because you can choose smart students for hard questions, i.e., differentiate. I don’t like it, I prefer option one. I think you always choose the same people and it’s less exciting than lollipop sticks. But I think this is what most teachers do most of the time.
Option four: put your hands up. I don’t like this method unless it’s to do with giving stuff out in the classroom. The disadvantage is obvious: the same students always contribute. Most of the class stare vacantly. (Phil Beadle has said you should never do class discussion for this reason, in this book).