How do Teachers Use Questions?
Do any of these apply to you?
- I sometimes answer questions myself
- I ask too many questions at once
- I don't give the children very long to think
- I ask the same children to answer my questions most of the time
- I sometimes ask a difficult question too early
- I don't usually build on the children's answers
- I don't vary the type of question
- I ask the children to guess the word that's in my head (often comes up in literacy when improving text)
- I don't always correct wrong answers
Sometimes being aware is enough to start breaking the habits, and strategies such as counting to five to give a child more thinking time can help. How will you tackle your questioning habits?
How to Encourage Whole Class Thinking
- Mini-white boards - Write the answer on the boards then hold the up to check.
- ABCD cards - For multiple choice questions
- Lolly Sticks - Write the children's names on the sticks, then pull one out to question.
- Systems such as Plickers, Kahoot and Socrative.
By encouraging no hands up (unless you want to ask a question), you avoid having the same children participating in lessons.
Quality answers can be encouraged by giving the children more time to think about their response. You can do this by increasing the time you wait for an answer, by using discussion partners, or by using a think-discuss-share approach. By allowing more time to think children are more likely to give more detailed responses, get fewer incorrect answers, and have improved confidence.
Child Generated Questions
Ask Rich Questions
'Remember when we used a tally chart to work out the most popular type of pet, maybe we could use a tally to work out the most popular shoe size.'
Hattie. J (2012) Visible Learning for Teachers, Routledge, D.Wiliam (2011) Embedded Formative Assesment research by G.Brown and Wragg (1993)