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Posted on October 13, 2015 3:12 am
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QejyHu
QejyHu
Reps: 100
Thumbs Down
I was observing a class of first graders a few years back and the teacher had the students all sitting on the floor around her. She had them come up to the board one at a time and answer a math question. She would then ask the class if they thought the answer was right or wrong and they were supposed to be indicate by giving the child a thumbs up or thumbs down signal. I was student teaching then and it just struck a nerve in me that a first grade teacher would have an entire class giving a child thumbs down if they were wrong. This seemed very emotionally disturbing to me. Does anyone do this or find a problem with this with students that are so young?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted October 13, 2015 2:00 pm

Sarah Drake
Sarah Drake
Reps: 100
I think it would depend on how the activity was framed for the students. If the classmates were accompanying their thumbs down with boos, this would be unacceptable. However, If it were framed as "If you agree with the answer, give me a thumbs up. If you disagree give me a thumbs down. If you're unsure, give me a sideways thumb." At that young age, students respond to the tenor of the teacher, so presentation is key.
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Solution 2
Posted October 14, 2015 2:21 pm

JoBeth Griffin
JoBeth Griffin
Reps: 76
I have seen thumbs up and down in many classrooms. It is a way to keep the class focused and paying attention. One solution could be to have the student pick a friend to come up and help them make corrections. It could be a team effort.
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meXyHy
meXyHy
Reps: 158
I would do this as well, kids love to pick a friend to help them.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 8:27 pm

Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
This is a great solution! Having a friend to help will relieve any pressure the student was feeling.
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 8:34 pm

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Solution 3
Posted October 14, 2015 12:57 am

zaRaQy
zaRaQy
Reps: 77
This can be a useful strategy for students of all ages. As previously mentioned, it depends on how the students are using the strategy. One idea is for student to hold their thumb up, thumb down, or thumb sideways close to their chest. This makes it easy for the teacher to see, but doesn't broadcast to the class or classmate their response.
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Solution 4
Posted February 28, 2016 5:56 pm

Charity Knowles
Charity Knowles
Reps: 200
I have seen this in many classrooms as well. It is a strategy teachers use to ensure student's are paying attention. I have also seen teachers use sort of 'if you want to be a millionaire things' like phoning a friend or class solutions type things. I think allowing the student to take control over what they feel they need to do next. Maybe phoning that friend or asking the class what is something the student needs to look at to fix will make it fun and less like they're being singled out.
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Solution 5
Posted February 24, 2016 11:23 pm

Jen
Jen
Reps: 225
I don't think thumbs up thumbs down is a terrible idea at all. It gives the students an indication of whether or not they are right the right track. As long as students are not being rude, then I do not see a problem with it.
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Solution 6
Posted October 13, 2015 6:35 pm

PumuMu
PumuMu
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I think you should tell the student what happen and what they can do to fix it but tell them they did great for trying.
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meXyHy
meXyHy
Reps: 158
if I were in this situation, I would exactly do this.
  Posted on: October 15, 2015 8:24 pm

eSyTyt
eSyTyt
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Telling the child what they did wrong and then helping them fix it with positive feedback is always the best solution.
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 2:33 am

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Solution 7
Posted October 18, 2015 4:00 pm

eQynuv
eQynuv
Reps: 102
The students shouldn't be placed in this position. It is ok to have the students come up to answer the question, but not for the class to tell them they are wrong.
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Solution 8
Posted October 19, 2015 3:06 am

ZujaTa
ZujaTa
Reps: 76
It is done within my classroom, but I first help the students build up the trust between the class before I ever do it to any students. If a student has a thumb down and they disagree with a students thinking, they will have the opportunity to share their thinking by saying in a very respectful way that they disagree. They can say "I respectfully disagree and "this is how I think." The student trust each other and know that just because someone disagrees with them it one, doesn't make them right, and two, they are able to learn from making, and correcting, mistakes.

Good luck!
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Solution 9
Posted October 10, 2016 12:07 am

yjeNus
yjeNus
Reps: 202
I could understand how this may appear to be harmful for the student receiving the thumbs down but it helps keep all students engaged in the activity. It might be helpful to ask the students, after the thumbs down, for a volunteer to help their friend out. I would also save this time of activity for end of the unit or lesson to ensure that the students had a decent amount of knowledge on the information.
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Solution 10
Posted October 4, 2017 7:46 pm

uSaPeL
uSaPeL
Reps: 201
I can definitely seen how it would strike a nerve with you because I agree, that we never want the children to feel as if they are "wrong" as this will discourage them in the long run and make them feel "dumb" and "inadequate". The teacher should have positioned it with something like, "if you disagree with this answer, I want to hear a reason for why" or "I want to hear how someone got to a different answer." Wording it could make all the difference.
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Solution 11
Posted October 9, 2016 6:09 pm

Chanell Wolski
Chanell Wolski
Reps: 200
Have the students go up in pairs.
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