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Making Sure all Students Participate

posted Oct 6, 2017, 9:41 PM by HSD Principal
Watching your class have an animated discussion is satisfying and makes us feel accomplished as teachers. But sometimes we can be so happy that some students are participating that we miss the fact that many others are not. In an article describing what she calls the 'Fisheye Syndrome', Jennifer Gonzalez gives some advice on how to make sure all students are engaged in class activities. Including:

Make your intentions transparent. Talk to your students about this issue, and ask them to help change the current dynamic. This will prepare your quiet students, so they won’t be startled by the sudden shift in attention.
Increase wait time. We should be waiting at least three seconds between posing a question and calling on a student to answer... Want to go even further? Add a “no hands” time, where no one gets to raise their hands at first: You ask the question, EVERYONE thinks for a moment about their answer with their hands down, then give them the go-ahead to raise their hands, then you call on someone.
Pre-load discussions. Give shy students a head start by slipping them the discussion questions ahead of time. Actually, go ahead and give them to everyone. The talkative students could also benefit from some more thinking time.

The full article with more advice and much more information is here.