Avoid Judging Student Responses.
When a teacher judges a response with comments like, “Yes!”, “Good”, “Great thinking”, or “You’re on the right track”, students who are asked to share a different or additional response are likely to reason to themselves: “The teacher said that response was good. That is not what I was going to say or how I was thinking. So what I was going to say cannot be good. So I won’t say anything.” This week work to acknowledge student thinking without evaluating it so that the door is kept open for additional ideas, different justifications, or disagreements. And remember to provide time for students to reflect on their own thinking without judgment. Rather than searching for the answer or response you want to hear, be curious about the ways your students are thinking. A wise saying to keep in mind to help you monitor your non-judgmental listening skills and encourage students to share their thinking without fear is this; “Learning is Talking; Teaching is Listening.”