The previous post aimed at providing some insight to introversion. If you suspect that you have one or more introverted students in your classroom (there's a high chance that you will at least have one), below are some strategies that you can implement in your classroom to help them thrive in school.
1. Balance 'Brain Breaks' with some quiet time activities.
Since introverts need to recharge by being alone and quiet, the dancing with a group type of activity doesn't give them a break. However, this doesn't mean removing your movement breaks altogether; you can balance a high and loud energy dance for one brain break and then do a quiet yoga or meditation movement activity for the next brain break. Other types of breaks for the introverted student include reading and drawing. A quiet space could be set up if the student shows a high need for alone time too.
2. Make them feel normal.
Sometimes, introverted students get treated differently. There is nothing wrong with being introverted. Value what they can do as an individual not on whether they are loud or quiet, outgoing or shy, active participator or regular daydreamer. Introverts will do much better in the classroom if they can accept who they are rather than try to be something they are naturally not.
3. Allow more time to answer questions
One of the points outlined in last week's post was that introverted students need a bit longer to process information. So, when conducting a class discussion, allow a longer pause between asking the question and then picking students for answers. It may help to set a 10-second timer after each time you ask.
4. Give praise
It is easy as a teacher with so many students to forget the quiet, introverted kid who never causes any trouble. We ensure to praise our struggling students, we praise the ones who sometimes cause us trouble when they show positive behavior, we praise the loud ones, just don't forget the ones that may at times almost seem invisible.
5. Balance Independent and Group Work Tasks
It's not that introverted students necessarily dislike group work, but if you want to see what they can really do, they will shine in an independent task. It's mainly because introverted students are more likely to hold back in a group task. They can still be great team players; in fact, group work is still important for them. But, if you are doing an activity as an assessment, an independent task will give you a more accurate result of what these students can do.
For group activities, try to pair them up with extroverts that complement them. Pick the extroverts who are good listeners and are less likely to try and dominate the task. Keeping the groups small and designating group roles will help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate.
6. Use the Think-Pair-Share strategy.
Sometimes introverted students tend to shy away from speaking in front of the whole class. Using the Think-Pair-Share strategy will help increase participation rates in this scenario. You might find your introverted student more willing to share thoughts or ideas with the rest of the class after having some 'Think-Pair-Share' time.
I hope that these strategies help when teaching some of your introverted kids. A lot of these strategies will benefit everyone at the same time, so the ideas outlined above are easy to implement without compromising other personalities.
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Thanks for reading.
A 21st century School Teacher, Mother, and Wife.
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