being said. It gives you more time to formulate probes to get behind the reasoningstudents are using. It gives students more time to expand upon their answer withsupporting details and reasoning. It’s funny how students don’t like silence either. Work it!
Prompting Guides Struggling Students Through the Answering Process.
Prompting to many teachers means giving hints at the right answer. But change your thoughts about this and consider again that answering is a process. When studentshesitate to answer immediately, it’s not that they don’t know the answer. It is more likelythat they are having difficulty with one of the steps in the process. When you view thesituation in this way, your prompts can now become specific to the step that is causingthe student to falter.The first step is listening and rewording the question. What if they aren’t listening? Ithink we are all guilty of calling on the students to “catch them” not paying attention,thinking that it will pressure them t to be more attentive. Stop doing that and start callingstudent attention before you ask the question. Use verbal and visual cues that you areabout to ask a question. Ask students if they need the question repeated. Have studentsrepeat the question to each other.Once they know the question, students may still have trouble understanding it. Ask themwhat the question is asking. You can repeat the question in different words. Remember also that maybe all the student needs is that critical wait time.Students having trouble formulating an answer need cues that help them remember pastlearning or to make connections with new learning. Stop allowing students to get by with“I don’t know.” Start providing them with cues to connect the question to prior learningin other lessons or relating it to something they do know. Here’s an example actuallyoverheard in a math class.Teacher asks, “How do we know that angle A is 30 degrees?Wait time 3,2,1. “Bobby, what do you think?”Bobby, “I don’t know.”Teacher prompts, “Everyone turn to your shoulder partner and repeat the question I justasked.” Everyone’s attention is called to the question and Bobby gets it repeated.Wait time 5,4,3,2,1.Teacher prompts, “Bobby what do you think the question is asking us to do?”Bobby answers, “Explain why angle A has to be 30 degrees, but now I really don’tknow.”Teacher prompts, “Hmm…, well remember what we learned about these angles lastweek?” (Teacher walks over to a chart on the wall and points to complementary angles.)Bobby with light bulb flashing, “ Oh yeah! Those are complementing angles. They go