Quick and easy ‘lollysticks’ for no hands up

The third in an occasional series of emails to staff with ‘elearning tips’. This is the last of the ones I’ve already sent. I’ll add the others to the blog as and when I send them.


Dear all,

In much of his work, Prof Dylan Wiliam makes a powerful case for moving to a ‘no hands up’ classroom. You can see it explained briefly in this clip from the BBC ‘Classroom Experiment’ (You can watch the whole thing again here and here, and I really recommend you do – it’s been a real kick up the backside to me). In short, encouraging hands up simply means the same pupils dominate classroom discussion. A no-hands up classroom, where students are picked randomly to answer leads to better engagement from all students.

In the series teachers write the names of students on lolly sticks, which is nice, but something I don’t really have time to do *

Instead, I’ve created a quick spreadsheet which allows you to print out classlists in a way in which they can easily be printed on to card snipped into lolly stick equivalent. You can download the spreadsheet here.

If you fancy giving it a go, simply do the following.

  • In SIMS find a marksheet for the class you want to make lolly sticks for. Click Explort (above the list of names). This will open the marksheet as a spreadsheet.
  • Copy the column of names into the first worksheet of the attached spreadsheet. Click on the second workbook to see the names nicely formatted. Change the class in the top ‘stick’ to the name of you class. The others will automatically update.
  • Print. Copy onto card. Cut them up. You’re away.
You can find a 1 minute video of me demoing this here.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on. Have a look at the rest of the episode of the classroom experiment to see some of the various ways staff at that school found for making them work for you. They discuss this around 25 mins into episode 1

* I also don’t have any lolly sticks, but let’s gloss over that.

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