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Tickets! Tickets, please.

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In order to prevent the better students from dominating a speaking or review activity, I give my students "Intervention Tickets" at the beginning of the activity. Before class I estimate how many times each student should participate to make the number of tickets needed to finish the activity. This number has varied from one for a short review activity to five for a 20-question type of activity. In order to speak or participate, each student has to give me a ticket to express an opinion, ask or answer a question, or do an exercise on the board. When a student no longer has any tickets, he or she cannot intervene.
The tickets are physical proof of a student's participation to give positive or extra credit. Since the students know that I will keep the tickets in case they do not agree with their participation grade or extra credit, then the more timid ones try to speak more in class and really do practice, not just the talkative students.
For calculating participation grades or extra credit, a different color paper or white tickets with a different stamp on them for each ticketed activity is helpful. I have a sheet of about 20 tickets like the model below and I usually print out the number of sheets I need on different color paper. Also having each student put his or her name and the date on the ticket when I collect the ticket is another safeguard.

Intervention Ticket
This ticket permits the bearer
to participate one time during
the class activity.
Date: _______________________
Name: _______________________


The students seem to perk up when I say, "Tickets! Tickets, please."

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