Too quiet?

Here’s some advice for a quiet class, courtesy of “Simplify With Me”:

I have this quiet class.  This awkward, boring, quiet class.  I walk in the room after hall duty, say good morning to my class and then hear crickets chirp.  Sometimes, when my lesson finishes about 5 minutes before the bell rings, I give the class free time.  This class sits there and stares at the clock.  Lucky for me I have the same course later in the day and that class talks, and participates, and brainstorms with each other.  So, I know it’s not me entirely. 

I’ve tried partner work (there are tables in my room, so the students always have a partner) – nothing.

I’ve tried problems where they are forced to talk to each other because the work on their paper depends on the work of their partners paper – nothing. 

I’ve tried group work with 3 or 4 people – a little better, the students talked but minimally.

I’ve tried a mathalicious lesson where opinions are encouraged – no one had an opinion.

Finally, I asked the students to write down the names of the students in class they would talk to.  I created a seating chart based on this and finally, finally, they talk. 

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