Taking Time

In “Take your time” from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“… when you have enough confidence to take your own time, to take your time to be present, to do the work, to engage with what’s in front of you right now, it’s a gift.”

Time is a big thing in the classroom.

We time kids to see if they know their math facts. We give them timed standardized tests. Classes are scheduled for certain amounts of time. Sometimes we warn students about how much time is left.

We have time to submit certain things. Meeting deadlines is an everyday occurrence.

It seems like we are always in a rush to get things done.

It is no wonder that when students are pressured to answer questions, many of them freeze like deer in headlights. I was one of those students. I was pretty smart and could write answers intelligently but if you asked me a question in class, my nervousness would keep my brain from working in the usual way and I was unable to answer any questions.

One of the hardest things I had to learn was to pause and give students time. They need time to process the question and they need time to formulate an answer in their brain. They need this time to get that answer from their brain to their mouth.

Sometimes other students want to quickly yell out the answer which only puts more pressure on the student who was asked. Some students will just give up and let the know-it-all student answer the question.

One way I start off the questioning is to announce that every student may only answer one question until everyone has answered and then I will start all over again. I use poker chips and once they have answered, they get a poker chip. If they answer out of turn, they lose their chip. At the end of the questioning period, those with the most chips get a reward.

Sometimes I will assign a question to specific students so they know that when it is their turn, they will have to answer that question. That gives them time to think and formulate their answer.

Another technique I use is to tell everyone that no one can answer the question for 2 minutes and then I will call on someone. This has everyone thinking about the answer they want to give.

What techniques do you give for think time? Please share.

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog (http://successfulteaching.net) by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).