- "Recognize that the norms that establish who speaks in a course are set early in the course and that the teacher plays an important role in setting these norms. Politely refuse to call on students who have already spoken two or three times. 'Thank you, but we need to hear from others.” Walk to a different part of the room and speak directly to those students. “I haven’t heard from any of you folks. Please share your thoughts.'"
- "Wait. Research is very clear: Teachers frequently overestimate how long they wait after asking a question before doing something else. Let there be silence. Students who are not as articulate or self-confident often need more time to frame an answer."
3."Use the three-hand rule and don’t call on anyone until there are three hands raised."
I'd be interested in hearing from others some successful ideas for improving student participation. Here are a few of my own:
- In-class writing: I've discussed the merits of this before.
- Select a student to read aloud. It sounds corny, but I've occasionally asked students to read a key passage from our text aloud. In some cases, it seems like the student sees that he won't melt if he speaks in class and becomes more involved.
- Put yourself somewhere different. In keeping with number 2 above, most of my eager participants are in the front of the class. I've had some success moving somewhere else in the classroom, so as to distance myself from those who participate a lot and engage those who don't.
- 10 second end-of-class 'shout outs'. I sometimes ask students the most important thing they learned about the day's topic, and I call on each student to give a fast 10 second or less response.
- Written mid-class questions. Ask students to write (on notecards, say) some questions they have about a topic or text you just covered. Then select a few of the most astute questions and engage the questioner. This seems to build the confidence of more reticent students.