Asking Better Questions
In addition to making decisions about what questions to ask during S.I., teachers can also plan questioning as they prepare lessons. Knowing the BIG IDEAS within the curriculum, along with the use of appropriate teacher resources is a good source to draw good questions from.
Below are THREE strategies for asking better questions during S.I.
Keep it OPEN
An open question is one that encourages a variety of responses. Open questions help build student confidence as they allow learners to respond that their own stage of learning. (Baroody & Coslick, 1998)
What is 15 + 9? (closed)
What can we add to get to 24? (Open)
How many sides does a hexagon have? (closed)
What do these three shapes have in common? (open)
Open questions allow for differentiation, variety, and let students know their knowledge is valued. It also lets the teacher know if students understand concepts as opposed to a student guessing the right answer.
Did you know that there are certain verbs that are proven to elicit cognitive processes and engage thinking? Verbs such as connect, elaborate, evaluate, and justify prompt students to communicate their thinking and understanding, and extend their learning (Hunker & Freckman, 2004)
Use observe instead of look/see
Use interpret instead of guess
Use describe instead of list
Use justify instead of "Why?"
Not only does using better verbs promote the thinking process, it also allows students to develop their academic vocabulary, which will enhance their written and oral communication across the curriculum.
Provide WAIT time
When teachers provide additional wait time, there is usually a greater number of responses, and the quality of those responses is better.
More wait time means less confident students don't feel rushed, or intimidated by the "smart kids", and are more likely to participate.
Strategies such as "turn and talk", "think-pair-share", and "round robin" give students time to clarify and articulate their thinking. Click the links below to find out more about these strategies
CLICK: Round Robin