Angela Hall

Promoting the Power of Pause

In my teaching career, I have noticed that both me and my students have a tendency to rush.    I often think students will catch on to something much more quickly than they actually do, and my students often throw out an “IDK” without even reading a problem.  As a result, most of my students lack confidence in math and have a negative perception of their abilities.  

I chose the tool,  “The Power of Pause” with the intention of helping students build confidence in math and develop their ability to retain what they learn.  The tool teaches students (and teachers) to stop and think before responding, discussing, moving on, or giving up.  It is extremely versatile, can be combined with other thinking and learning tools, and can be implemented on purpose or “on the fly.” 

I introduced the Power of Pause in my classroom in January and used it in many ways all the way through April.  At the end of this time frame, I asked students and my co-teachers to reflect on the benefits of pause.  Although the results of my pre and post-survey did not show significant improvement on some general statements about confidence and effort, the written reflections revealed countless benefits that students had gained from pausing. They were able to recognize how it could be applied in other classes and in making life decisions.  They appreciated the time it gave them to think and focus.  Over 90% of my students said they think my future students will benefit from the tool, and both my resource teacher and co-teachers noted several benefits of pausing, including reducing impulsivity and giving students ownership and control of their role in discussions.  I look forward to continuing to use it and share it with other teachers!

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