1. Create a daily silent moment to teach kids to regroup and reflect.
2. Cultivate their intellect and curiosity—not in the way you think!
Encourage students both to ask questions and to try answering them, with the goal of getting the class comfortable with the idea that sometimes there are multiple answers and that it’s okay not to discover even one answer. While this won’t apply to arithmetic, it can spur a great discussion on the motives of a book’s main character or why someone colored her cat blue.
Also, two things that you, as a teacher, aide, or parent, may want to shed: The phrase “Because I said so” and the pressure to feel like you should know everything. In the former case, use the question “why” as an opportunity to turn the question on your student. “Why do you think I asked you to get ready for snack break?” In the latter, collaborate with a, “Let’s figure it out.”