Idea Sharing and Wait Time

Sharing Ideas and Resources

As a TeachBeyond community, we all have access to different educational ideas and resources, but we really haven’t had an effective forum to share them with each other. We’d like to change that. I’m not sure how this will eventually look, but while we’re exploring our options, I’d like to open this blog as a place to begin to share resources.

To start off the conversation, one TeachBeyond member asked for help exploring on-line courses to supplement what her school can offer. If any of you have experience with on-line providers and would like to share what you’ve learned or offer suggestions, please e-mail us at onpractice@teachbeyond.org or add a comment below.
Thanks!

Wait Time
A lot of good research has shown that providing extended times of silence after asking a question (aka “think time” or “wait time”) is beneficial because it allows all students to engage with the question asked. This is especially true when your question is designed to elicit a response that requires a higher level of thinking skill or a deeper level of emotional commitment. Letting silence stretch on for five or more seconds may be uncomfortable for you, but it tells students that you aren’t going to do the work and answer the question for them. When you wait, they are motivated and have time to formulate answers.  At the end of an extended wait time, it is beneficial to call on several students (and not just those with raised hands) to respond.  Again, this encourages all students to actively think about the question, rather than to sit back and let someone else do the work for them.  The more you practice this skill, the more engaged your students will become as they realize this is what you expect from them.

For more information on the benefits of “think time,” check out the article, “Using ‘Think-Time’ and ‘Wait-Time’ Skillfully in the Classroom,” by Robert Stahl. The most recent Education Update from ASCD also has a great article on this:  “Planning for Processing Time Yields Deeper Learning.”

Becky