In a high-performing classroom, a verbalized or unspoken “I don’t know” is cause for action. When
a student begins by being unable or unwilling to answer, you should strive to make the sequence end
as often as possible with the student giving a right or valid answer. Choose among four basic formats
Format 1. You provide the answer; your student repeats the answer.
Format 2. Another student provides the answer; the initial student repeats the answer.
Format 3. You provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer.
Format 4. Another student provides a cue; the initial student uses it to find the answer.
This is surely among the most helpful and efficient techniques for raising classroom expectations,
• Students tend to duck away from questions rather than answer them.
• Students don’t hear themselves getting answers right.
• The class lacks a culture of accountability and incentive for each individual.
Take the rigor of your interaction up a notch by wrapping up the sequence with a request for
another correct answer or an explanation of the “why.”
· May I please have some more information?
· May I have some time to think?
· May I ask a Friend?
· Would you please repeat the question?
· Where could I find information about that?