In the Classroom
I try to follow a few simple suggestions:
- Always be positive and welcoming towards students and comfortable in front of them.
- Use humor whenever possible.
- Ask the type of questions that provoke discussion rather than too general or yes or no questions.
- Change activities in section often enough so that students are never bored.
- Show that you care!
Many students are afraid to voice their opinion in front of their peers because they are afraid of sounding stupid. My favorite method of counteracting this fear and encouraging whole class discussion is to break students into groups of 3-4 to discuss an issue related to the reading or solve a problem together. This helps get their brain juices flowing and they have a chance to test their ideas on only a few people before the whole class discussion begins. Sometimes I have them write their ideas or questions on the whiteboard or the Post-It easel pad to help guide the whole class discussion.