Questioning Techniques

This time of year can be a good time to fine-tune teaching strategies. These ideas deal with asking questions in the classroom to foster learning.

  • Allow sufficient wait time after you ask a question. This may be 5, 10, or 15 seconds or more depending upon grade level, student ability and the complexity of the question.
  • It’s a good idea to allow students to jot down notes so they can remember what they want to say when called upon.
  • Use factual questions to lead into higher-order questions.  After the student tells you that Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, a follow-up question could be, “Why do you think the Japanese chose that day to attack?”
  • Use sustained higher-order questions to facilitate a deeper understanding of the objective or concept. “What is significant about the time of day of the attack?”
  • Use note cards, sticks, name tags, a seating chart or other means to make sure everyone gets a fair chance at answering questions.
  • Comment on each response to add depth to the discussion.
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