Students do better when they feel successful and confident. Catching them off guard or unprepared can make them feel quite the opposite. So when posing questions to the class, allow students time to think about their answers without having to answer immediately. One way to do this is through priming.

Priming is simply alerting students ahead of time 

A nice example of priming is the “pose-pause-pounce-bounce” protocol, from Teacher Toolkit. It looks like this:



Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce in cartoon, by @TeacherToolkit

For students with ASD, it would be helpful to add an extra priming step to the process. So the complete protocol would be:

  • Pose the question to the class
  • Pause to give them thinking time
  • Prime the students who you will call on so they can prepare their answer
  • Pounce – call on a student to respond
  • Prime the next students for follow-up to others’ responses
  • Bounce to next students

…and you can even add another “P” at the end: PRAISE.

Try it!