Teachers are always looking to get their students more involved during lessons. After all, if students are involved, they’re learning. If they just sit there quietly they must be bored, distracted and not listening—right? Well just because students remain mute during Q&A time doesn’t mean they aren’t learning. They might just need a little motivation! Try these 4 easy ways to get them more engaged.
1. Wait Three Seconds
“Patience, patience, patience.” In fact, just saying that phrase in your head is all you need. Most teachers wait only 1.5 seconds before picking a student at random to pipe up (which I’m sure feels like ages!). Try waiting just a bit longer gives students time to actually think of the answer, and their answers will be longer too.
2. Advance Question Notice
No one likes to be put on the spot. Think of the pressure? It’s even worse if they don’t know the answer. Try giving your students each a question ahead of time. Come time for Q&A you’ll notice a change. If those with the specific question don’t have answers for you, then move on to ask the rest of the class (after 3 seconds of course).
3. Unknown Questioning
There are no stupid answers, right? Well many unsure students don’t believe that, no matter how many times you tell them it’s true. I sure didn’t! Classroom software today offers the option for students to respond to questions from their laptops, tablets, and even their smartphones. If students know their answers are discreet, they may feel more at ease giving them out.
4. Questions With Options
Who says everything has to be black & white? Try questions with more than one right answer, or give students a choice between two answers. Open ended questions can be scary as the answer could be anything. Offering some options lowers the odds to 50/50. Maybe ask them “why?” after they answer.
Remember, quiet students don’t mean they aren’t learning. Try these tips out and see if you notice a difference. Sometimes we all just need a little push!