Nods come in all kinds and sizes

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“A good listener is usually thinking about something else.”  ~ Kin Hubbard (1868 – 1930). Thanks to Bob at for this one.

Please pass this post on to newbies.

Some kids are masters of the nod. They track you with their eyes. They may take a note or two while doing so. Their heads go up and down at appropriate pauses in the lecture. Here’s the tricky part, though: A percentage of those kids don’t know if you are discussing the fall of Sparta or Sherman’s March through Georgia. They just have perfected the Nodding superpower. They know how to look engaged and attentive, no matter how far away their minds have wandered.

That’s why lecture absolutely must be broken up by questions. I’d suggest picking the people who DON’T raise their hands at least some of the time. Call on Nayelli when she nods. You don’t want to embarrass or trap the girl. If you can tell right away that Nayelli’s lost, please let her off the hook gently. But students must be made to participate regularly if you want to keep the Nodding superpower in check.

Preparing regular think-pair-share activities will work in some classes. Activity sheets that must be filled in as lecture progresses also help. Regular references to expected, upcoming homework will help.

Eduhonesty: Never trust a Nod.