How do you deal with the quiet students?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by VANewbie, Jul 14, 2011.

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  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    How do you deal with the quiet students in regards to answering questions during whole group.

    I have tried calling on students who do not have their hands up(because its always the same ones who have theirs up and the same ones with their hands down) I have pulled sticks to give everyone a turn.

    BUT sometimes I feel horrible when I pull on of my ESOL students or students who are shy. I know sometimes they may not know the answer or do not have the language to express the answer or are too afraid to open their mouths and contribute.

    I make sure my classroom is a positive atmosphere so students do not need to feel worried if they do not get the answer right or do not know it. I really try to get rid of that embarrassment feeling in my classroom.

    What do you do?
     
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  3. jeifer

    jeifer Rookie

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    I pull sticks or other things so that I make sure I call on everyone, however, if I know someone is really shy, I ask them if they would like to answer when I get to them. If they shake their head or just look at me, I tell them thats ok (in a cheerful voice) and move on. I never make a big deal out of it but I want them to know if they want to answer they can. When they do finally want a turn, I try to be as positive and encouraging as I can be. They usually feel comfortable by the end of the year.

    I am SUPER SUPER shy even now (not when I'm with my students though) and know how they feel. When I am in meetings or PD and I get called on, I do the same thing as my students so I treat my kids like I want to be treated in that situation. I hate when people make a big deal about me not wanting to talk. It makes me not want to say anything even more in that situation. :blush:
     
  4. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I hear you. I am the same way!!
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Sometimes I tell them that I'm going to call on them soon so that they have extra time to think/prepare an answer and aren't caught off guard. So I'll ask the question and call on Eric, and then I'll say "Joey, I'm going to ask you what you think in a minute."
     
  6. janney

    janney Cohort

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    In elementary, middle school, and part of high school I had a major fear of speaking in class. So much to the point that I would open my mouth to speak but no sound would come out. I wish that my teachers would have done more to help me speak out in class. I never volunteered and they never called on me. Luckily my mom made me go into stores and buy things and ask questions myself so I got some practice. Then in high school I had a Spanish teacher and a Speech teacher who had lots of presentations that we had to do.

    Anyways, I remember this when I have a quiet student in class. I call on all of my students the same. I remember to give quiet students extra time to think and if they can't answer the first time, I'll say, "Think about your answer and I'll come back to you." I feel this helps students who are shy get their thoughts together or listen to how others answer the question first. I also feel it's important that the rest of the students have this opportunity to learn how to be patient with people who need more time to think and answer.

    If they still won't answer after being given extra time I will try to form my question into a one word answer or a simple yes or no so they can just shake their head to answer. During student teaching I had a student who was mute in school. When I wanted an answer, I would let him whisper it in my ear and then share it with the class. The following year I saw him in the hallway and he yelled out hello to me, I just about cried right there.
     
  7. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    I had a student who was very shy. He would answer questions when I called on him but very quietly and would never raise his hand or even ask for help. One time, I had my students work in groups on a project and at the end, they had to give presentations. Everyone in the group had to participate and he really stepped up to the plate during the presentation and did a great job. I was so amazed. I think making everyone in the group accountable for one another helped in that regards. Basically, keep trying to find different strategies that will get them involved and to participate.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't call on kids who don't have their hands up.

    I have a very good idea of who understands and who doesn't; a quick look at the faces normally tells me that, along with my homework check.

    Class participation isn't part of my grading. Everyone DOES participate; some merely choose not to answer aloud in class.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I will say, "Take a moment to think and I'll come back to you." Then I ask another question and be sure to come back. By the end of the year, my students ask for a "Thinking Moment" if they need more time. But even my most shy student came out of his shell when given time to formulate a response and boy did he become the funniest kid in the class!

    Another option is to give them an option to talk with a partner. If someone needs help answering a question, you might use "Why don't we turn and learn." Then have the student share after confirming that their answer is correct or getting the right answer.

    You can also always give the students an opportunity to PASS on a question. Just be sure that they don't over use it.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I was extremely shy all through elementary and middle school and even most of high school. Even in high school, if I had to answer a question my heart would start racing and my face would flush. In elementary school, when a story I'd written had been chosen to be read aloud to the class, I wasn't able to read it -- a classmate read it instead.

    The whole time, I wasn't really aware that my brain doesn't freeze, and my tongue doesn't lock up. When asked to speak, I actually do fairly well. Even now if I have to speak in front of an audience I do feel quite a bit of trepidation beforehand, but I also know it will be gone by the time I get to the end of the first paragraph of whatever I'm saying and I'll simply be in the flow of speaking.

    Which is part of the reason I look well upon the requirement of my sons' school to do book report presentations. It gets them up speaking in front of an audience, and even performing semi-extemporaneously in front of one (which in a sense, is what all speech is).
     
  11. DaleJr88AmpFan

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    I do the same as many of you have already suggested. I will draw sticks and give appropriate wait time to all students. If they are struggling, I ask them if they need to "phone a friend"-that seems to help or I will tell them to think about it and I will be "right back to them". At conference time (usually in NOV), I will talk to the parent(s) and student about more participation in class. Often, I will set a goal of the child sharing once per day without being called on randomly by me. I especially like to have them "talking" during our literacy (for comprehension strategies) and math (for mathematical communication) times. I also try to make an extra effort each day to talk to those students so our rapport is a positive one and so that they get used to hearing their own voice.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I had a selective mute student in my class this year. She actually looped with me so we had two years together. In the beginning I would call on her if a question could be answered with a head shake or hand gestures. Over time she was comfortable whispering with a few friends so she would talk quietly during partner. This year she finally had a breakthrough and is now able to share orally in class, talk with classmates...:love: so my advice would be to be patient but put kids in positions where they'll have to talk in a safe partnership or group. Let quiet kids know their input is valuable and appreciated. :thumb:
     
  13. Rox

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    I try to use open-ended questions rather than a question that requires a correct answer. Sometimes, I'll ask them something that pertains to their personal lives. For example, "in the book, the girl didn't want to share with her brother. Sally, have you ever felt that way with your brother?"

    I don't give a participation grade. If they are completing assignments and otherwise following along, then I know they are doing fine.
     
  14. webmistress

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    I like this approach. I'm not a fan of pulling sticks. The school made us start doing it, but honestly, I can keep up with who I have called on and I can feel when I need to call on someone else or not. I don't like letting sticks dictate the flow of my lessons. My style is very student-centered and the lessons flow according to their questions, input, stories, ideas etc.

    No offense to anyone who uses them. It just that the principal/district started forcing the issue and didn't allow teachers to decide for themselves.

    ETA: I was nearly a selective mute from 6-12th grades. My teachers did call on me to speak up but it was better for me because they would give me eye contact first and were calling on because they wanted to, not because they pulled my name. If teachers pulled sticks when I was a student I think it would have made me way more terrified than what I was.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Math is kind of unusual in that it doesn't require a whole lot of discussion.There's no question as to what the author meant when he designed the question or as to which answer is more valid.

    And it's entirely possible that a kid will be nervous because he honestly doesn't have a clue as to which answer is correct.
     
  16. Ms. I

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    I know how great it is to get as much student participation as possible. Pulling sticks puts people on the spot. How about telling the next 3-5 students that you'll be calling on them in a few minutes (in this particular order) to answer a specfic question & give them the question then & there, so they have time to look up the answer, etc. & won't feel so bombarded.

    I feel for the quiet ones because I was a quiet child. I kid you not, from what I recall, I never raised my hand to answer anything from kinder to college & no teacher I ever had made us talk. I still don't really do it now. I'm the sit back listen type, but I turned out just fine & learned as much as everyone else! That's probably why I love the quiet students now who just sit, listen, & do their work. I can't stand the yakity-yak-yak kids who have to ask about every single thing &/or just talk about all kinds of unnecessary things.
     
  17. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    ~Love it!
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I only pull sticks when it seems everyone wants a turn and I don't know who to call on first. I also give them time to think and come back to it. If they still don't have an answer, I might guide them or just cheerfully accept it and move on (depending on the purpose). One mom was nervous because she felt her child was an introvert and was afraid I would misunderstand this. She came to observe and while it is true her child was shyer, she was pleasantly surprised that he would volunteer information. I generally could feel out what situations the child would feel more confident answering and which ones he would not. One turning moment was when they were sharing their work and giving feedback. I picked the weakest student and gave the most sincere biggest compliment I could about this child's work. I remember the look on his face. I think he began to feel more safe after that. That doesn't mean he always wanted to participate. I tried to give opportunities but not make a huge deal out of it either.
     
  19. webmistress

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    True and one thing I like about teaching Math is allowing the entire class to answer together sometimes. It may be a series of steps and that helps even the quietest of students to speak up. If someone is not speaking up along with the class then it's a sign to me that they may be really lost with the material or totally disinterested.

    -------------

    I also like to just ask a variety of more advanced or unusual questions and give a wait time for anyone to answer. This motivates the quiet, but competitive student to answer when they realize they are the only one who knows the answer. They will answer and feel really validated that they are the only one who knew the answer.

    It's one thing that motivated me when I was a student. And as a teacher, it happened to get the boy who had yet to say a word in class to finally speak up. He wasn't shy at all, he just didn't care to participate until I asked a question to everyone and it was important enough for him to speak up. I was so excited for him! We gave him an applause:love:

    It's just one of many different things to try.
     
  20. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Michael Linsin has a whole chapter in his book, Dream Class about shy students. As someone who was never shy, learning from him, someone who was a shy child, was valuable to me. I highly suggest the book- not just for this issue- but many management issues.

    This doesn't exactly address it. But his book really does. I looked a the website and he doesn't have an article on shyness, however this could help, too.

    http://www.smartclassroommanagement.com/2010/02/13/how-to-get-your-students-to-raise-their-hand/
     
  21. Math

    Math Cohort

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    :2up:
     
  22. Peachyness

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    I apologize, but I haven't read all of the responses, so this may have already been said, but instead of asking a question and right away asking ONE student to answer, you may want to look into other methods of getting students to answer so that they are ALL participating. I've used: White boards, everyone whisper in a count of 3, buddy share, group share, write on a piece of paper, show me with your fingers, thumbs up/down, etc. I've used the white board method the most.
     
  23. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    Wow, seriously? Math and science are full of potential for discussions. I use a lot of discussions in my class to ensure student understanding and allow my students to learn from one another and share ideas. There are so many ways to approach a single problem that it is great to have group work and discussions about it. This involves higher-order thinking. Maybe my educational background is different but I believe strongly in getting students to think critically instead of just lecturing to them, giving them the answers, procedures, etc. and having them just follow it.

    I think that is what is severely lacking in math and science education. Students are just given information and procedures to memorize and follow and don't even have to think deeply about what they are doing. Does getting the right answers necessarily mean they understand it? Absolutely not!!! I don't blame the teachers because that's how I was taught too and I really wish my teachers would have done more to get me to think outside the box. I had the opportunity to teach college and high school students and it is amazing the disconnect I see between math and science where students can't even apply the math they learned to science. I don't even want to mention the problems with making connections between one area of math and another. If they can't apply it to other areas, then they never really understood it on a deeper level. And I don't mean giving artificial application problems but higher-order tasks that actually involves doing math. Sorry for the rant.
     
  24. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I have done with with buddy share but the twist is they have to tell me what their partner said. This makes sure they are participating and listening.
     
  25. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    With my lower-level students, I often give them the question ahead of time, and then check the answer so they know they are right. I give students non-verbal ways to answer, too.
     
  26. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I give a lot of wait time. Before I would ask the question and the first to raise their hand I would call on them. I never realized how important this time was. Now I make sure I do not forget to give wait time. I even put my finger to my head to show my students I am trying to think of the answer as well.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I like all of the suggestions provided and use most if not all of them in my classroom on a "need to" or "natural" basis.
     
  28. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I just wanted this in quotes.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Why? That seems a little...much. :huh:
     
  30. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Safe Venue

    A lot of raising hand has to do with feeling safe in a particular venue. Put-downs, chuckling, rolling of eyes, sounds of exasperation - in general verbal or body language which sends message the volunteer's answer is not appropriate in eyes of peers can cause many less than super confident to back out of discussions.

    Besides working on questioning strategies to involve the shy it might be of some use to, at the same time, work on audience social skills which create a safe place to talk. I know at a new school where I was hired a colleague asked why I was participating more at staff meetings compared to another school (where she and I had worked). I told her I didn't feel it was a safe place to talk at the other school.
     
  31. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Try having lunch with this child, or taking a walk with just this child on the recess playground. Maybe he/she will speak more when feeling more comfortable.

    Use white boards for all to write a response?
     
  32. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    I agree
    :thumb:
     
  33. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    When I'm walking around checking everybody's answers I talk to a quiet student one on one and ask him/her if it would be ok to call her/his name in class so that he/she can give the answer since he/she already knows that he/she got the right answer. Then when asking for volunteers, this student raises his/her hand and I can see the exciment in his/her eyes. This way the student is not put on the spot and could cause more anxiety.

    I try to do this many times so I can build confidence and help them lose their fear in participating.

    We also do a lot of presentations in our math class. For example, each group is assigned a math problem or word problem and they write their solutions on chart paper. Then, each group comes to the front to present an explanation of their solution to the problem where every student has to participate. This is a lot less intimidating since there are 4 or 5 students presenting and before coming to the front they already know what they will talk about.

    Encouraging is also very important. Those students who don't feel confident need a lot of encouragement about their work. I make a point of providing extra encouraging words to those students so that they feel confident by paying attention when they get a right answer and then giving them a high five. By the middle of the school year I see a huge increase of participation in my students.

    I think that whole classroom participation is more about creating a trusting classroom environment where students can feel safe.
     
  34. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I couldn't disagree more strongly. There is a valid discussion that can take place in a math classroom with problem solving, why you chose certain strategies, students talking about their approach to a problem, and verbally walking you through their thinking with relation to math and math problems.
     
  35. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    I love this!

    I've also allowed students when struggling at the board- sometimes they freeze- to call a friend (Who Wants To Be a Millionaire-esque).
     
  36. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I don't call on students individually. I ask a question and let them talk about it at their table. Afterwards, I ask for volunteers to tell me what they heard someone else say. It keeps everyone free from embarrassment.
     
  37. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I haven't really had a big problem with quiet students not participating. They usually won't raise their hands, but will answer if I use the method where you pull a Popsicle stuck with their name. I just really work hard on creating that environment where it is ok for everyone to share and it's ok if their answers are not always correct. Sometimes when we would do book report presentations it would be very difficult to hear some of the quiet students, but I didn't make a big deal out of it. I just wanted them to be comfortable going up in front of the class.
     
  38. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    That's a great idea! This gives me an idea of creating some lessons with this game's theme. :)
     
  39. The Fonz

    The Fonz Math teacher (for now...)

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    if i see a student that is quiet and not participating, i call on them. My classroom is a place where everyone should be actively participating and not afraid of right or wrong answers...the No.1 answer I never accept is: I don't know....i tell my student's that I would rather hear a grossly inaccurate answer than I don't know.

    when I call on a student i make sure they answer with confidence, even if they know they're wrong. Confidence goes a long way and it builds character. More people will listen to you and take you seriously if you show that you have confidence.

    I also tell the students, I'd rather hear a wrong answer said with confidence than a right answer said as a question/unsurely:

    "What is the square root of 144?"

    "...tweeelve?"

    So going back to the quiet kid, if i call on them and they don't reply with the correct answer (remember I don't know is not acceptable in my classroom)..i go to someone who knows the answer. have that person answer, then immediately go back to that student and have them repeat the answer.
     
  40. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Yes, I agree that I have a problem with students who just "refuse" to answer questions. I will not allow students to just be "observers", I expect them to be "participators". That being said, I will call a student for an answer even if their hand is not up. Not because I want to embarrass them, but I want them to know that their thinking is just as important as let's say "Korey" who always answers questions. Some of these students are shy to answer because they don't have the confidence. I think if it's the beginning of the year, I might give them time to learn how smart they are and build that confidence in little steps. But if it's January, I might not give them that luxury. I have had students come up and try a problem and if they are having difficulties, they can kinda "phone a friend" for help. The kids love that. We still give them cheers for trying. :) The good thing is: in all the years I've been teaching, I've never had a student not want to participate. I guess that's just the kind of classroom community I try to build early in the year. I have been told by collegues that there is a different kind of excitement in my room, whatever that means. :) I am a big fan of "turn and talk" even during math. That way, those quiet students can talk about the problem with a partner first, then as partners they can show us the work.
     
  41. jeifer

    jeifer Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2011

    The Fonz and Youngteacher226 - I would have a hard time being in either one of your classes :blush:. I've had teachers who expected you to answer no matter what. I would get so frustrated with them I'd end up crying and still didn't answer...and ended up even way more embarrassed. Its not always just about not feeling confident in your answer.

    Now by saying that, I don't mean to say you shouldn't expect students to answer, I would just definately find other alternative ways to answer/participate.

    If you aren't shy its hard to understand how shy people feel in different kinds of situations.
     
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