24 Strategies to Teach Learners Not to Blurt Out Answers During Class

Are you looking for strategies to teach students not to blurt out answers during class? If so, keep reading.

1. Create classroom rules: • Remain on-task. • Remain in your seat. • Finish tasks. • Meet task expectations. • Raise your hand. Examine rules often. Praise students for following the rules.

2. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s appropriate behavior. The parents may reinforce the student at home for waiting to be called on before speaking.

3. Ask questions frequently to prevent the student from becoming impatient and blurting out answers.

4. Do not criticize when correcting the student; be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel negatively about themselves.

5. Do not let the student interrupt you by letting them talk to you at the time they blurt out answers. Inform the student that they will need to wait until you are finished talking. Allowing the student to talk after interrupting reinforces the behavior and may increase the number of times they blurt out answers.

6. Give the student many chances for social and academic success.

7. Do not let the student use ADHD as an excuse. Hold the student responsible for their actions. However, accept the problems that ADHD brings into the student’s life while they are learning to make accommodations.

8. Ask the student a question when they are most likely to be able to respond correctly.

9. Try to give equal attention to all students in the classroom.

10. Provide directions, explanations, and instructions in a clear, concise manner to lessen the student’s need to ask questions.

11. Minimize learning activities that might threaten the student (e.g., lessen peer pressure, academic failure, teasing, etc.).

12. Provide the student with duties in the classroom (e.g., running errands, chances to help the teacher, etc.).

13. Get the student to be the leader of a cooperative learning experience if they possess a mastery of a skill or have an interest in that area.

14. Take the student away from the learning experience until they can demonstrate appropriate behavior and self-control.

15. Always treat the student with the utmost respect. Talk objectively at all times.

16. Teach the student to use techniques such as crossing their arms and legs, clinching their fists, and webbing their hands when they feel the urge to blurt out answers without being called on.

17. Show the student the reasons why blurting out answers without being called on is unacceptable (e.g., impolite, hurts others’ feelings, etc.).

18. Praise the student for waiting to be called on before speaking: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, five minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

19. Praise the student for waiting to be called on before speaking based on the number of times the student can be successful. As the student shows success, slowly increase the number of times required for reinforcement.

20. Make sure that the student’s feelings are considered when it is appropriate to deal with unacceptable remarks (i.e., handle remarks in such a way as to not diminish the student’s enthusiasm for participation).

21. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

22. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

23. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

24. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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