As a teacher, when you ask students a question or when you give a student a behavioral prompt, how much time do you give the student to answer or respond to the prompt? In educational jargon this is referred to as “wait time”.
Wait time is the period of silence between the time a question is asked and the time when one or more students respond to that question.
Upon giving either an academic prompt or a behavioral prompt to a student, allow for wait time. It is necessary to give students some time to think about the question and formulate a response. What is the average “wait time” teachers give students to respond to a question (or a behavioral prompt i.e. “Mary, please stop tapping on your desk.”)? Even though it can feel like you have been waiting forever for an answer, or even just some small sign that they heard you, in reality it was probably less than one second. On average, teachers only wait between 0.7 and 1.4 seconds for a response after asking a question (Stahl, 1994).
- 1 second is the average time a teacher waits after asking students a question.
- For most students, it takes 1 to 10 seconds to respond to a question.
- For some kids, it takes 3 or 4 seconds for it to register what you asked for.
TLC Educational Solutions National On-site Workshops
- Building a Motivated Student Learning Environment through Engagement & Modeling
- Creating a Highly Engaged and Effectively Managed Classroom Environment
- Guiding Instruction Using Formative Assessment Strategies
- Promoting Higher-Order Thinking Skills with Engagement & Motivation
- Using Differentiated Instructional Strategies for Student Motivation & Engagement
- Classroom Management Strategies That Work
CLICK HERE to find out more about our On-site Workshops and Invitational Seminars
CLICK HERE to find out more about TLC Educational Solutions
Patricia A. Crum Ed.D. & Terry L. Crum M.S., National Trainers & Educational Consultants