It is critical to establish a caring environment open to every child’s ideas before incorporating this. Basically, no one can laugh at another person’s ideas. The teacher models empathy and respect for each student, talks about the feelings of others, and encourages students to have the courage to tell the truth, etc.
I have experienced tremendous success with mainstreamed ESOL elementary students using this structure. It ensures that every child is actively involved in learning and fosters cooperation and caring. My students beg me to play this game.
The Life Line Game:
After introducing and teaching a concept, the teacher models the solution to a problem on the board.
The whole class is asked a similar question and given time to work in small heterogeneous groups.
The teacher circulates and assists as needed. (or works with small groups)
The teacher selects a student by randomly drawing a name card from a basket. The student is asked to write the answer on the board and share their strategy.
The teacher gives a wait time of two minutes if needed.
If the selected child does not know the answer or would like help, he or she may select a Life Line. This can be any student from the room to SILENTLY assist them. The rules are that the Life Line student (helper) can only whisper their solution to the first child (writer).
The helper explains the strategy until the writer is able to share it with the class by writing it on the board or overhead.
Everyone claps thunderously.