1 Questioning Teacher provides focused feedback and questions to students that : Activate prior knowledgeProbe students’ conceptual understandingLead to deeper understanding
2 What do you know about questioning techniques? Give one, get one: 2 minutes to think, 2 minutes to shareUnder “Give one” write:What do you know about questioning strategies?What problems do you have with questioning in your classroom?Under “Get one” write two new things you learn from two other partners.
3 Why Questioning Matters: Instruction which includes posing questions during lessons is more effective in producing achievement gains than instruction carried out without questioning students.Oral questions posed during classroom recitations are more effective in fostering learning than are written questions.Questions which focus student attention on the most important points of the lesson result in better comprehension than questions which do not.Questioning makes student thinking visible and provides immediate feedback to the teacher.
4 Question their background knowledge first! Guide students from the known to the unknownUse cues, questions, and organizers to set the stage for learningBefore new knowledge can be incorporated into student’s existing schema, the schema must be activatedStart by asking what students already knowFocus on content that is most important, not on what students will find most interesting (hopefully you can make important content interesting!)You can discover and clear up misconceptions by taking time to ask questions before you begin a unit of study!
5 Hook their interest! Make questions an “itch”, not a “scratch” Odd fact, anomaly, counterintuitive exampleProvocative entry questionMysteryChallengeProblem or issueExperiment—predict outcomeRole-play or simulationPersonal experiencesEmotional connectionHumor
6 Making Hooks “hookier”: How does a peer group influence the beliefs and actions of early adolescents?Was Gorbachev a hero or a traitor to this country?How do the structure and behavior patterns of insects help them survive?Who do some people act stupid when they are in groups?Who blew it?What good is a bug?
7 The goal in design is neither to pander to the students’ likes nor to cause them to fear bad results. The design challenge is to tap intrinsic motivation more effectively. As Bruner put it long ago, “The best way to create interest in a subject is to render it worth knowing, which means to make the knowledge gained usable in one’s thinking beyond the situation in which learning has occurred.” Understanding by Design Wiggins & McTighe
8 Today’s Essential Question How do students benefit when questioning is used as an instructional strategy?How can teachers improve the use of questioning strategies?If students don’t like answering questions why should we ask them?How can I get my students to answer questions without violating the Geneva Convention?
10 “Fat” Questions Higher cognitive questions require students to take knowledge and/or skills they have learned and manipulate that information to create an answer or to support an answer with logically reasoned evidence.“Fat” questions are also calledOpen ended (no definite answer)InterpretiveEvaluativeInquiryInferentialSynthesis
11 “Skinny” Questions Lower Cognitive questions Recall verbatim or in student’s own words material previously read or taught by the teacher“Skinny” questions are also called:FactClosed (only one right answer)DirectRecallKnowledge
12 What kind of question is used most? 60% lower cognitive20% higher cognitive20% procedural
13 Should All questions be “Fat”? “Skinny” question more effective when teacher wants to give factual knowledge and help students commit those facts to memoryIf using “skinny” question, level of difficulty should elicit correct responsesIn classes above primary level, a mix of “fat” and “skinny” questions is superior to exclusive use of one or the other.
14 Benefits of Higher Cognitive Questions: Using more than 20% produces superior learning gains for secondary studentsUsing 50%+ increases:On-task behaviorLength of student responsesNumber of relevant contributions volunteered by studentsNumber of student-to-student interactionsStudent use of complete sentencesSpeculative thinking on the part of studentsRelevant questions posed by studentsTeacher expectations about student abilities, especially for students regarded as slow or poor learners
15 Teach students to write different Levels of Questions: In the text:Right there!: You can put your finger on the place in the text where the answer is found.Pulling it together: You have to put the answer together using different parts of the text.In my mind:On my own: The answer is not in the text, but reading the text will help you know how to answer.Author & me: You have to answer by combining what you find in the text with what you already know. (For more advanced students)
16 Concept Question Chain Select an important concept or theme from textWrite a chain of questions about this concept of theme that include:Right thereThink and SearchOn My OwnAfter students have read and written answers, lead a discussion of the questions.Follow up with a performance task that demonstrates their understanding.
17 Discussion Web Students read and think individually Students compare thinking with a partnerPartners pair up with another set of partners and groups of four compare thinking and discuss.Call on a spokesperson from each group to share the group’s thinkingOpen topic up for further discussion whole group
18 Discussion Web Reasons No Yes Conclusion Made giant mad Really Jack’s things anywayGiant was meanJack didn’t think he was stealingHe’d be richerHe & his mother had nothing leftMade giant madWrong to steal, go to jailGiant had possession of his stuffJack got trappedDidn’t ask permissionReasonsWas it all right for Jack to take things from the giant’s castle?NoYesConclusion
19 Questioning techniques Knowledge: Eliciting factual answers, testing recall and recognitionComprehension: translating interpreting, and extrapolatingApplication: to situations that are new, unfamiliar, or have a new slant for studentsAnalysis: breaking down into parts, formsSynthesis: Combining elements into a pattern not clearly there beforeEvaluation: According to some set criteria and state why
20 Knowledge What do you remember about . . . ? How would you define . . .?How would you identify . . .?How would you recognize . . .?Describe what happens when . . .?How? Where? Who? Why? What? When?Stop and write a knowledge question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
21 Comprehension How would you compare …? Contrast…? How would you clarify the meaning…?How would you differentiate between…?How would you generalize…?How would you express…?What can you infer from…?What did you observe…?How would you identify…?Elaborate…?What would happen if…?Stop and write a comprehension question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
22 Application What actions would you take to perform…? How would you develop…to present…?What other way would you choose to…?What would the result be if…?How would you demonstrate…?How would you present…?How would you change….?How would you modify…?How could you develop….?Why does… work?Stop and write an application question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
23 Analysis How can you classify…according to…? How can you compare the different parts…?What explanation do you have for…?How is…connected to…?Discuss the pros and cons of ….How can you sort the parts….?What is your analysis of …?What can you infer …?What ideas validate…?How would you explain…?What can you point out about …?Stop and write an analysis question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
24 Synthesis What alternative would you suggest for…? What changes would you make to revise…?How would you explain the reason…?How would you generate a plan to…?What could you invent…?What facts can you gather…?Predict the outcome if…?What would happen if…?How would you portray…?Devise a way to…How would you compile the facts for…?Stop and write a synthesis question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
25 Evaluation What criteria would you use to assess…? What data was used to evaluate….?What choice would you have made….?How would you determine the facts….?What is the most important….?What would you suggest….?How would you grade….?What is your opinion of….?How could you verify….?What information would you use to prioritize…?Rate the …Stop and write an evaluation question you could use in tomorrow’s lesson.
26 Another way to classify questions: Core questionsCue, direct thought & experienceFocus on:ObservationRecallCompare/contrastGroupingLabelingClassifyingPredictingSequencingInferringProcessing questionsNarrow focus of discussionElicit a variety of responses from different studentsLet students give evidence for their ideasHelp students create relationships between ideas and evidence
27 Wait-timeAverage wait time teachers allow after posing a question is one second or lessStudents whom teachers perceive as slow or poor learners are given less wait-time than students teachers perceive as more capableFor lower cognitive questions successful wait time is 3 secondsFor higher cognitive questions the more wait time teachers give, the more engaged students become and the better they perform
28 For students, 3+ seconds wait time : Improves achievementImproves retentionIncreases number of higher cognitive responsesIncreases length of responsesIncreases number of unsolicited responsesDecreases failure to respondIncreases amount of quality evidence used to support inferencesExpands variety of responsesIncreases student-to-student interactionsIncreases number of questions posed by students
29 And for teachers, 3+ second wait time: Increases flexibility of teacher responses (teachers listen more and engage students in more discussions)Increases expectations for students usually perceived as slowExpands the variety of questions askedIncreases number of higher cognitive questions asked
30 How to respond to student answers: Use student responses to form your next question and narrow the focus of the discussionProbing questions help you know how deeply the student is thinkingTeacher redirection and probing help student achievement when they focus on clarity, accuracy, plausibility of student responses.
31 How do students feel about questions? Generally fear them, which stops learningWe usually only ask a 2nd question when the first response was wrong = students have an aversion to the 2nd questionIf redirection/probing are vague or critical (“That’s not right; try again”; “Where did you get an idea like that?”) students may not continue to respond and achievement does not improve.
32 Your response to their answers will determine whether or not they continue to answer! Acknowledge correct responsesListen carefully to student responses!Praise of student responses should be sincere and credible and should be used sparingly.Establish community where all answers are accepted as a gift – model this for your students
33 Teach students how to state their opinions – civic discourse I think, I feel, I believe . . .Support with reasons, facts, detailsUse reasonable tone of voice – good manners
34 Don’t Forget:Ask questions that focus on most important elements of the lessonAsk questions before and after material is read and studiedScaffold lower ability students: ask lower cognitive questions, gradually transitioning to higher cognitive questions. Ensure student success during questioning experiences.Teach students strategies for making inferences.3 seconds for lower cognitive questionsMore than 3 seconds for higher cognitive questionsAllow generous wait time for lower ability students
35 Teaching inference making Model firstAsk an inference questionAnswer itFind clues in the text to support the inferenceTell how to get from the clues to the answerHave students practice with simple textGradually have students make inferences with more difficult text
36 Use the WASL stems document to help you know what kinds of questions students will need to handle on the WASL
37 Classroom Questioning “School Improvement Series” Close-up #5 by Kathleen CottonMentoring Minds Critical Thinking Wheel developed by Michael L. Lujan.Haynes, Judy. “How to develop questioning strategies.” everythingESL.net 2004, 4/12/07.questioning_strategies.php
38 Self-reflectionReview today’s essential questions:How do students benefit when questioning is used as an instructional strategy?How can teachers improve the use of questioning strategies?Fill out “Taking Action” sheet to reflect on what you learned.
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