Looking out at your audience, you notice that the engagement rate is dropping. Perhaps you've been talking for a bit too long, or maybe everyone is digesting that big lunch. Whatever the reason, you know you need to change things up to increase alertness. A sticky note graph is a simple way to accomplish this and to gather formative data from your group.
Post the numbers 1-10 on a wall in the room. (I like to do this before the class so that it is ready if I decide to use it. However, you can always quickly do it when the need arises.) Ask everyone to grab a single sticky note and stand up. Pose a question or statement such as "What level of control freak are you?" or "How comfortable are you with this topic?" and ask your participants to place their sticky note in the corresponding spot.
Ask your group what they notice about the graph and facilitate discussion about the results. Not only will you have succeeded in getting their blood flowing and restoring their alertness, you will have gathered some interesting information to help you adjust your teaching.
For more simple ideas to engage your audience, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training.
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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