“Wait time” is commonly referred to as the time between a teacher asking a question and calling on a student to answer it. It’s an important, and often overlooked, element of classroom interaction.
Here’s what I wrote about it in one of my books (minus the footnotes):
The average time between a teacher posing a question and a student giving the answer in a typical classroom is about one second.. Multiple studies have shown that the quality and quantity of student responses increases when the wait time is increased to between three and seven seconds. There may very well be times when that time should be extended further for individual students. For example, a teacher could pose a question to a student and say that he will return in a minute and expect an answer.
Today, Alfie Kohn sent out a tweet offering a “take” on “wait time” that I had never thought of before (and I’m embarrassed because of it):
“Wait time” also matters AFTER a student speaks: gives tchr, other kids chance to think, shows comment is taken seriously -Marilyn Watson
— Alfie Kohn (@alfiekohn) September 23, 2013
Marilyn Watson is an educator who has written several books. Here’s a link for more info about her.
I think her observation is so important that I’ve highlighted it in the image below: