Learning and Sharing

What to say instead of…

on February 21, 2013











If someone asks a question while we are reading, thinking, or eating and we don’t want to stop and answer we sometimes say  “I don’t know.”  If we know the answer and just can’t think of it quickly, we might say “I don’t know”.   We say “I don’t know” when we just need to think a minute.  We say “I don’t know” when we just want to be left alone.

To keep others thinking good thoughts and feeling good about us we need to acknowledge their questions and try our best to answer.  There are things we can say instead of “I don’t know”.  Here is a helpful visual-


We used this today in our 2nd grade group because it is too easy for some of us to just say “I don’t know” when we don’t want to engage with others.   If the question is hard we say “I don’t know” instead of thinking about it.

We thought of one to add to this visual May I hear the question again?.  I think having this visual handy will help us learn to say what we really mean instead of “I don’t know”.


3 responses to “What to say instead of…

  1. ctaylor64 says:

    I made something very similar into a bookmark for one of my students to have with her. She is coming to see me for some anxiety issues, particularly issues she has in the classroom. After seeing this, I may ask the teacher to introduce it as a classroom tool.

    • A bookmark is a great idea for personal use. We know your student is probably not the only student in her class who could benefit from the visual so I hope her teacher welcomes your idea. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Joel Shaul says:

    Interesting theme for a blog. It seems like a lot of kids say “I don’t know” not because they don’t know but as a device to shut down a conversation that is tiresome or distracting them from their inner thoughts. An angle I am exploring with one of my clients is social cause and effect – what will other people think and what will they say about me if I come across as ignorant.

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