October 26, 2013

Responses to Silence

Being faced with a classroom full of silent students who will not participate can be a harrowing experience for any teacher. How do you get longer, more meaningful, and more frequent responses from your students? After they give you an initial response, try these tips:

1. Maintain a deliberate silence.

2. Make a declarative statement.

3. Make a reflective statement giving a sense of what the students said.

4. Declare perplexity over the response.

5. Invite elaboration.

6. Encourage other students to comment.

7. Give students time to think after they are questioned.