One of my biggest pet peeves as a teacher is when I ask a question or ask for a volunteer and it is crickets in the room. I started changing my questions to this simple hack and it made all the difference in the world, I swear by it! Depending on how old your kids are, you might not be able to use it every time but a couple times a day it works like a gem.
Change your phrasing of your questions from “does anyone know?” or “who wants to read?” to asking who’s BRAVE enough.
So now I will ask my students – “Who’s brave enough to share?” or “Who’s brave enough to read aloud to the class?”
I’m not kidding you when I say that I have about 90% participation when I ask it this way.
Students sometimes need that encouragement and confidence to know that it takes bravery to speak in front of the class. And we have discussions about how it’s not always easy because you might not be confident in your answer, you may be embarassed if you don’t know how to read as well as your classmates but that just means it takes more bravery for you than for someone else.
Granted, I work with 4th graders so depending on the age group of your kids this might be work better / not as well but it’s worth a try! I’ve seen a huge increase in student engagement with it.
If you try it, please let me know how it went by sending me a DM on Instagram @laurentaylorslifestyle. And if you have anything that you’ve found helpful to help student participation please share that too!