October 24 2009

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 respones 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 perlexity over the response.

5. Invite elaboration.

6. Encourage other students to comment.

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