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Effective Questioning - Help!

Discussion in 'English' started by teachenglishrach, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'm currently halfway through my teacher training and I keep being asked to improve my questioning and to script it into my lesson plans - however, I don't understand how I can do this. Surely it depends on how the pupil's answer my initial question? And then how do I do it so it opens up the floor to other class members? And how do I pre-plan it?
    I'm really struggling with this, have read lots on the internet and watching videos on Teachers TV but just can't get my head around it. Practical advice appreciated please!
    Thanks in advance
    Rachel
     
  2. Hi,
    I'm currently halfway through my teacher training and I keep being asked to improve my questioning and to script it into my lesson plans - however, I don't understand how I can do this. Surely it depends on how the pupil's answer my initial question? And then how do I do it so it opens up the floor to other class members? And how do I pre-plan it?
    I'm really struggling with this, have read lots on the internet and watching videos on Teachers TV but just can't get my head around it. Practical advice appreciated please!
    Thanks in advance
    Rachel
     
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    You're quite right in thinking that you can't script a discussion but perhaps you're being asked to think about, and make explicit, exactly what you want students to think about. You could have key questions for a lesson, or a section of a session planned. You might not need to ask them because they may come up as you're talking about something else. Also, you might want to think of opening phrases so that you don't ask too many closed questions.
    You are second guessing, though. Better to ask the person who is telling you to do this! If it's being picked up by more than one person, it suggests you're pitching the questions too high or low or they're not related to your objectives. Nothing wrong with a bit of that so long as it's occasional and you realise what you're doing as it happens, but maybe a problem if it's more than occasional?
     
  4. Make sure your questions are open rather than closed, for example:
    "What do we think Duffy is saying about the relationship in 'Anne Hathaway'?"
    Rather than:
    "Is Duffy's portrayal of the relationship in 'Anne Hathaway' a positive one?"
    Know your kids too. I've always had 'go to' kids who I can rely on to say something that'll spark a discussion. The rest of them are usually more than willing to contribute, but it sometimes needs that one confident pupil to get things going.
     
  5. Try using Bloom's hierarchy of questioning - it's really useful and helps with differentiation!
     
  6. EmmaBB

    EmmaBB New commenter

    Ditto above. Bloom's taxonomy has ways of sequencing questions to extend learning. Google it & also Dylan Wiliam talks about 'hinge questions' - the question pupils need to be able to answer to progress in the lesson.
     
  7. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    You should also think about different ways of going about questioning. Have hand up sessions, where you take open feedback from the class; hands down sessions where you can differentiate questions depending on the abilities of the pupils; random questioning (e.g. lollipop sticks) to ensure a range of pupils answering; bounce answers to questions to other pupils to ensure all are engaged; don't just ask pupils for answers to questions - give them the answer and ask them to come up with the question; have pupils question each other.

    And have an explicit procedure / routine for each type of questioning session so that pupils know how to operate it.
     

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