13 Alternatives To “I Don’t Know” And “I Can’t”

nist6ss13 Alternatives To “I Don’t Know” and “I Can’t”

We saw a related post on pinterest this evening and thought it was great. Sentence stems can be powerful ways to “start” students talking where they are unsure of themselves–used them quite a bit to help students respond to poetry.

Let us know in the comments what your go-to admonishments to students are.

  1. “I need help.”
  2. “I’m nervous about being wrong.”
  3. “I can’t do this, but I can do this.”
  4. “Before I can respond, I need…”
  5. “I’m not sure, but I can tell you that…”
  6. “I’m confused exactly here…”
  7. “A better question is…”
  8. “If I knew how to______, I could answer.”
  9. “If I understood _______, I could respond.”
  10. “It’s just a hunch, but…”
  11. “How about this?”
  12. “After talking to my neighbor, I think…”
  13. “After Googling, I’m wondering…”

Image attribution flickr user nist6ss

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