Beyond Buzzing


I bought this set of four classroom buzzers on Amazon on a whim (and because they were on sale) and now I’m wondering what to do with them. Obviously, I could use them to run team quizzes but there must be more to buzzers than plain old buzzing to answer a question.

I’ve brainstormed some ideas:

  • Put up a key on the board that maps each colour to how confident a student is feeling about a controlled practice exercise they’ve just completed. When students finish the exercise, they run up to the front of the room and press one of the buzzers. The buzzers aren’t very loud so the noise won’t disrupt those who are still working, at least I hope it won’t.
  • Set the buzzers up as an exit ticket. When Ss leave they press one of the buzzers based on what they thought about the lesson (each of the buzzers produces a different sound).
  • Use it as a peer feedback mechanism. For instance, if students catch one of their peers speaking in L1 during a practice activity, they hit the red buzzer.
  • Use it as a teacher-led feedback tool during group activities (I’m not completely clear in my head how this would work without disturbing the students).

It’s not a very exhaustive list at the moment. Do you have any ideas for how I could put these buzzers to use in classroom?


2 thoughts on “Beyond Buzzing

  1. Similar to your suggestion to use buzzers as a peer feedback mechanism, I would use them as a tool to indicate that *I* heard a student speak L1. I often put students in groups (often 4 groups) for speaking activities and I subtract points/give penalties to the whole team whenever someone uses L1. I do this silently not to interrupt the others, so the sinners sometimes notice the punishment too late. Thus the buzzers could be a nice, effective addition, I think.

    Alternatively, you could give one buzzer to each group and whenever someone within the group has something to say, they will indicate so by pressing the button. You could also use them during whole-class activities so instead of raising their hands, students would press the button and they could speak straightaway without waiting for your approval. You could thus withdraw and observe the class more attentively (and take notes, for example).

    Liked by 1 person

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