1. Show more interest!
If students think the teacher isn’t interested in what they have to say, they will stop saying anything at all. Show interest in the statement yourself – not just moving on or correcting the answer – and getting other children to show an interest may well slow down, or even hijack, the best-planned lesson, but it’s important . It is usually ineffective to say “good point” while looking away or reading notes.
Listen to the student carefully! Do not interrupt even if you think they are heading towards an incorrect answer. At times a student may realise their own mistake. On other occasions you may simply have misunderstood where the student was going with his answer. Even on the frequent occasions when a student does reach an incorrect answer the other students may learn as much from the incorrect response as from a correct one. Furthermore, interrupting students does not create an atmosphere which encourages participation.
2. Be aware of non-verbal communication
Maintain eye contact with the student speaking, and focus your attention on the student, not on what you intend to do next (i.e., ask a question, or end the class).
Use nonverbal gestures to indicate your understanding, confusion, or support–head nodding, facial expression, hand gestures which signal the student to continue, or physical stance which indicate that you are thinking about the student’s answer.
3. Be sure to maintain a respectful environment
It is important that students’ contributions are listened to and taken seriously by both the teacher and the class. You should model this by ensuring that you make appropriate responses to contributions and are not critical. It is also important that you do not allow the class to ridicule wrong answers. Boys in particular do not like to be shown to be wrong. You could also model making mistakes yourself to show that being wrong Is acceptable.
4. Be patient
Don’t drop too quickly a student who seems unable to answer. If a student is nonplussed, inquire “How can we help…out?” Never interrupt a student who is attempting to answer nor tolerate ridicule of an honest effort.
Incorrect answers must be viewed as a chief way of making improvement and developing learning. The opportunity to discuss why answers may be incorrect is as important as discovering the ‘truth’
Wait for a second or two following a student response to be sure that you have listened to everything and that the student has finished talking. You might wish to paraphrase a long answer and check with the student to be sure your perception of his response is accurate. This technique, when judiciously applied, makes students aware that you are listening.