You have some valid concerns here! I assume that you have been in communication with her parents about this? If not, I would highly recommend it because they may have some valuable insight. Is she this quiet and shy at home or is it something that shows up only at school?
It sounds like she is a perfectionist and struggles with the fear of failure! A book that I have recommended to parents is What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake by: Claire E. B. Freeland. It is a book that is written on a child’s level and intended for parents to sit down and read through with their child. Parents have told me that it is a helpful tool to give them ideas about how to approach the subject of mistakes/imperfection with their children.
This is the kind of thing that takes a lot of experimenting and trial & error. 🙂 You have some good ideas for things to try! Here are some additional ideas:
1. When she won’t answer a question orally, ask her to write the answer on paper. This may give you an idea if she is still thinking about the answer or if she is just fearful and doesn’t want to say it.
2. Develop a private reward system where she gets a sticker or a smiley face on a chart on her desk every time she audibly answers a question in class (whether it is right or wrong). If this is motivating in itself, you’re set! If not, find something simple that is motivating to her. Reward improvement.
3. Does she ever raise her hand to volunteer an answer? What if you privately came to an agreement with her that you won’t call on her unless she raises her hand (until she is feeling more confident)? This may help her relax instead of worrying about being called on (if that is what’s happening).
4. Consider the atmosphere in your classroom. How do the other students respond when one of their peers makes a mistake? Do they laugh or ridicule? Is it a safe place? (This may not be the problem at all, but something worth considering!)
Hope this helps a little!