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Teaching Tip: Park Your Thoughts

Have you ever had a class where no one talks?  This tip will allow someone who may be shy, or just not comfortable asking a question, an avenue to be heard.

When originally shown this tip at a Bob Pike seminar, it was called an “Ask it Basket.”  It has been modified slightly for use by driving educators that attend my training courses.  I have renamed it simply, the “Parking lot.”

How to use

On the first day of class, hang a large piece of flip-chart paper in a convenient place in the back of the room with lined parking spaces drawn on it.  Provide a small pad of 3” sticky notes on each table.  Inform the class that the sticky notes are for them to write down questions they may not want to ask themselves.  The students can then place the note/s in a parking spot on the flip-chart.  During breaks, instructors collect the notes and use the questions as a way to open the next session after the break, if appropriate.

You might not get questions every time, but you will get them.  By taking the time to read the questions, you have now made that shy or quiet student involved in the learning.  And if they are involved, they will remember.

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