Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Blog Post #4
Knowing how to ask questions effectively is an important skill for teachers to develop. Many times teachers ask questions only to be sure that the children understand what has been taught. In the article,The Right Way to Ask a Question in the Classroom by Ben Johnson, he explains a strategy that was researched by Mary Budd Rowe in which the teacher asks a question, waits three seconds, and then calls on a student to give the answer. This obligates students to pay attention to the question being asked, so they will be ready if the teacher calls on them to answer. "Ideally, you should combine "lower-order thinking" (often "closed" questions) to assess students knowledge and comprehension with questions that require "higher-order thinking" (often "open" questions) to assess students abilities to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate" (Asking Questions to Improve Learning). A "closed" question is one that can be answered with yes or no or a simple phrase. On the other hand, "open" questions have a more in-depth answer and promote deeper thinking and brainstorming. In the video Open Ended Questions, Andi Stix gives several open questions starters, including "for what reason," "in what way," describe or explain in detail," and "generate a list of."
According to Maryellen Weiner in Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, there are three techniques for generating good questions that are useful for promoting thinking and participation. First, prepare questions. Do not wait until the class is discussing the topic to think of questions to ask. This will help ensure that your questions make sense and are engaging for the students. Second, play with questions. This is done by asking a question at the beginning of the discussion but not answering it until the end. This technique requires students to consider the question throughout the discussion. Third, preserve questions. Preserving questions means saving questions for a different day or lesson. This helps students practice recalling information and associating what was discussed with new topics. As teachers, the way we ask questions is providing a model for the way our students should learn to ask questions.