Asking Real Questions

POP Quiz-Text Version
POP Quiz 1
Do you know the true art of questioning? (If Students Wrote the Quiz)

Can you answer “NO” to all 5 questions?

* Do you put our names at the BEGINNING of directed questions? If you put names at the beginning of a question, the rest of us will tend to ignore your question, since you have already chosen who will do the answering for you! Wouldn’t you, too?

I can mostly answer No to this one, but it’s good to be reminded 🙂

* Do you ask “whole group” questions like, “Does everyone understand the difference between…?” Hope not, because it is simply an invitation for a chorus of “yes” responses and the 2 or 3 of us who do not understand probably would not let you know because, “everyone must have understood it but us!” Instead, ask, “Who would like for me to repeat those directions?”

Oh – yeah, I knew that but I’ve still caught myself doing it a couple of times 😦

* Do you repeat student answers? If you do, then you’re teaching us not to listen to each other, because we know the answer will be repeated by you! Instead, try other responses such as “Tell us more,” or “Someone else?”

Ouch! Guilty as charged 😦 Need to watch this one!

* Are you always the “answer-giver” in class? If you turn our questions back to us, you will encourage us to do our own thinking and learn to answer our own questions. For example ask, “That is a good question. What do you think?” After giving us a chance to state an opinion, the question can then be directed to the class for discussion. At that point you can add your comments to ours.

Ok I get an A+ for this one, I’m smiling again:-)

* Do you practice less “wait time” for the slower students than you do for the smarter ones? Researchers have clearly demonstrated that teachers typically wait less than one second after asking a question before calling on a student, answer the question themselves, or make an additional comment! Increasing wait time results in dramatic improvements in the overall quality of class discussions.

I’ve been working on this one, counting up to twenty elephants in my head. Adults need thinking time too especially when English is their second language.

There’s lots more good stuff on this site.

What aids do you use to reflect on your teaching?


2 thoughts on “Asking Real Questions

  1. I am SO interested in discourse and questioning in the classroom. So many well-intended teacher behaviors (and words) actually discourage critical thinking and real discussion. Thanks for the reminders! The other pop quizzes are great, too.
    One more thing, do you twitter, or just watch?

  2. Hi Jane – my overzealous spam filter got you at first. Yes, discussions get squashed by ‘read my mind’ questioning. I twitter as lindiop – please add me!!

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