Current Issues

Creating Space for Thinking in the Classroom

I recently read this article from TeachBeyond (thanks Becky Hunsberger) on the importance of giving our students time to think in the classroom. As a person who frequently finds myself needing “processing time”, I recognize the value of creating space for my students who also need this.  However, it is hard to do. Becky makes a very profound and simple suggestion of consciously waiting, insisting on some seconds of silence, before calling on students to respond to a question.  So simple and obvious… yet how often do I actually do it? Never if I am not intentional about it.

What other things can we do to provide thinking time in the classroom and help our students become comfortable with silence in their otherwise noisy world?  Do you have any strategies that you have tried and found helpful? Please share in the comments below!

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  • Since writing this post some weeks ago, I have been thinking more about thinking in the classroom. How can we structure activities so that our students are prompted and even inspired to actively think during our lessons rather than passively receive information? I found the suggestions on this website quite helpful.

    Many of these “routines” are not new ideas to me, but it was inspiring to see a list of them with examples.