Finger shoot: A quick and easy, ‘prop free’ way to check for understanding for both teachers and students. It allows students to express themselves. The finger shoot is a quick and easy way to get participants to reflect on, and quantifiably evaluate their performance, thoughts or feelings during any part of the experience. It can be used in a variety of ways ranging from a simple check-in with group members to see how they are coping, to a catalyst for more in-depth introspection. It is a great way to get a group thinking and describing their experience without having to verbally communicate in front of the group. Thus it is suitable for all types of groups, but especially those who take a bit of time to open up and speak their thoughts.
Time requirements: Depends on number of participants
Materials needed: None
- Like in the game ‘rock, paper, scissors’, participants, on the count of three hold up any number of fingers ranging from one to five or one to ten (using both hands), to evaluate how they performed in some aspect of the experience that they have just been through. For example: As part of debriefing at the conclusion of an activity, you might ask, “ How would you rate the way you worked together as a team, helping each other put the puzzle together without talking?”.
- All participants hold up their score (fingers). As a facilitator, you are now armed with information to further delve into the issue.
Options: There are two ways to facilitate this activity from here.
- You could focus on the negative aspects of their behaviour that led them to their score, “Joe, you gave yourself a three out of five. What did you do that resulted in giving yourself that score?".
- You could address the positive ‘solutions’ one would do to improve their score, “Joe, you scored a three out of five. Next time you are in a similar situation what could you do to ensure your score improves?”.
Function in the class: Provides instant feedback for the teacher, and allows students a quick way to ‘tell’ the teacher and peers about how they feel or understand without having to express it verbally. This activity is especially safe for ESL students, and heterogeneous classrooms.