Ball control

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
This is a great and easy way to organise directed questioning in class at almost any level
This is a great and easy way to organise directed questioning in class at almost any level. Obtain enough ping-pong balls for each pupil in your class. Number the balls from one onward and place them in a smallish bag.

In your mark book, number the pupils in which ever way you wish - I do it alphabetically. Ask a question, pick a ball out of the bag and direct the question to the pupil with a number against his or her name.

Pupils can see that the process is completely random and quickly get to know their number. An element of risk is introduced into the classroom, and questions are not directed to those who know the answer. All pupils have a chance at being asked, which helps them concentrate more on the task or issue.

Use the same method to check on homework outcomes at the beginning of a lesson by using the balls to choose four or five pupils to present a "show and tell"

Tony Fuller teaches history at Wadham School in Crewkerne, Somerset.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today