lolly sticks

Tips for using lolly sticks

I wrote recently about the benefits of random selection over ‘hands up’.  Lolly sticks are a really simple way to randomly select children, but like anything they need to be used properly to ensure the intended positive outcome. Here are some tips:

A cup containing flat wooden sticks (‘lolly sticks’) with names on, one per child.

A cup containing flat wooden sticks (‘lolly sticks’) with names on, one per child.

  • ask the question before picking a stick out of the cup

  • use a variety of questions, not just recall

  • give children time to think, and jot

  • let children talk to a partner

  • always put back the sticks so that children know they may be asked again

  • use the sticks genuinely as they are intended (e.g. don’t use tricks such as colour coding to select specific children; if you really do want to occasionally ask a specific child, just ask them - no need for lolly sticks!)

  • always use lolly sticks positively, never punitively