Dealing with Silence

Sometimes students are not prepared to share on a topic without giving some prior thought. The result can be an awkward silence. Try handing out paper and pencils and asking the students to write down their answer to the question first. This not only gives a time of silent reflection, but more timid students may be more likely to read what they have written than to speak “off the cuff.” The result may be a discussion with more participants than if you just allow those who are quick to speak to dominate the conversation.