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Wait Time

Research has shown that when students are given just three to five seconds of wait time after a question, several key things are likely to happen:


-The length and correctness of student responses are likely to increase.


-The number of failures to respond (those who say, “I don’t know”) is likely to derease.


-The number of students who volunteer to answer is likely to increase.


-The use of evidence in answers is likely to increase.


If a student doesn’t know the answer, get the answer from another student. Then, go back to the original student and ask him to repeat the answer before moving on. Making sure students answer questions reminds them that you believe in their ability to answer, and it results in students’ hearing themselves succeed and get answers right. This causes them to grow increasingly familiar with successful outcome.


Students in your classroom should come to expect that when they say they can’t answer or when they answer incorrectly, there is a strong likelihood that they will conclude their interaction by demonstrating their responsibility and ability to identify the right answer.

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