Numbered Heads

I tested out a new active engagement strategy today called “numbered heads” in my psychology class. They are often my guinea pigs before I test something out with all of my social studies classes!

  • numbered headsI used a deck of cards to get students into groups of four.
  • Each group received a white board and a marker.
  • I posed multiple choice review questions using PowerPoint and allowed the groups to talk about the answer.
  • I silenced the teams and called out a specific card. That team member had to answer the question on the white board.

I liked that there was individual accountability during this group activity. If a student didn’t listen during group discussion, they might miss the answer and disappoint their group. On the flip side, a student who may not have known the answer at the outset could learn the answer and feel pride in earning their team a point. Additionally, one student couldn’t dominate the activity since the students never knew which team member would be called upon. Students had to work together, but they were also responsible for their own learning.

I think this activity could be used in a variety of ways, and I’m excited to try it again!

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