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Thinking Like a Teacher: Let’s Design Effective Questions

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1 Thinking Like a Teacher: Let’s Design Effective Questions
Adapted from: Prof. Lynn Julien-Shultz Nipissing University

2 Bloom’s taxonomy Benjamin Bloom and others developed a classification system of levels of intellectual behaviour that were important in learning The lowest level is recall – what percentage of teacher questioning do you think they discovered was at this level? 2001- the taxonomy was revised by Anderson & Krathwohl; creativity replaces synthesis and is found at the highest level Key verbs and examples of typical questions for each level help us remember to aim to include higher levels, work from simple to complex 70 per cent

3 Bloom’s Original six levels in the cognitive domain
Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge Bloom’s Original six levels in the cognitive domain w/o Oct /2009 Lynn Julien-SchultzJ/I Methods

4 Original Terms New Terms
Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge Creating Evaluating Analysing Applying Understanding Remembering (Based on Pohl, 2000, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 8)

5 Create Evaluate Analysis Apply Understand Remember Revised Bloom’s six levels in the cognitive domain- from remembering to creating

6 Thinking skills in Bloom
Photo:© 2007 Tom Dunn Remember Understand Apply Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory Construct meaning from instructional messages, including oral, written, and graphic communication Carry out a procedure to perform exercises or to solve problems L.O.T.S. Lower Order Thinking Skills

7 Thinking skills in Bloom
Analysis Evaluate Create Break down an idea into its constituent parts and determine how the parts are related to one another and to an overall structure Judge the value of ideas, materials, or products Combine elements to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganize elements into a new pattern or structure H.O.T.S. Higher Order Thinking Skills

8 Review the classic story:

9 Applying Bloom’s Using the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears as the basis: Create a question for each category Remembering – Understanding – Applying – Analyzing – Evaluating – Creating –


11 Questions for Remembering
What happened after...? How many...? What is...? Who was it that...? Can you name ...? Find the definition of… Describe what happened after… Who spoke to...? Which is true or false...? (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 12)

12 Questions for Understanding
Can you explain why…? Can you write in your own words? How would you explain…? Can you write a brief outline...? Who do you think...? What was the main idea...? Can you clarify…? Can you illustrate…? Does everyone act in the way that …….. does? (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 12)

13 Questions for Applying
Do you know of another instance where…? Can you group by characteristics such as…? Which factors would you change if…? What questions would you ask of…? From the information given, can you develop a set of instructions about…? (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 13) Questions for Applying

14 Questions for Analyzing
Which events could not have happened? If. ..happened, what might the ending have been? How is...similar to...? What do you see as other possible outcomes? Why did...changes occur? Can you explain what must have happened when...? What are some or the problems of...? Can you distinguish between...? What were some of the motives behind..? What was the turning point? What was the problem with...? (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 13)

15 Questions for Evaluating
Is there a better solution to...? Judge the value of... What do you think about...? Can you defend your position about...? Do you a good or bad thing? How would you have handled...? What changes to.. would you recommend? Do you believe...? How would you feel if. ..? How effective are. ..? What are the consequences..? What influence will....have on our lives? What are the pros and cons of....? Why is ....of value? What are the alternatives? Who will gain & who will loose?  (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 14)

16 Questions for Creating
Can you design Can you see a possible solution to...? If you had access to all resources, how would you deal with...? Why don't you devise your own way to...? What would happen if ...? How many ways can you...? Can you create new and unusual uses for...? Can you develop a proposal which would...? (Pohl, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 14)

17 Q Matrix a user-friendly adaptation of Bloom’s Taxonomy
allows you to construct questions based on the word pairs within a matrix arranged in a hierarchy that considers Bloom’s Taxonomy

18 Q Matrix To use Q-Matrix:
1. Identify the level of thinking you wish your question to elicit and select word pairs to match your instructional focus “knowledge” word pairs – upper left portion of matrix “evaluation” word pairs – lower right As you move in any direction from the “What is?” – you are moving toward questions which require more in-depth thinking

19 Q Matrix 2. Choose any word pair
– use this word pair as the first two words in your question followed by the appropriate content. Example: Which might? Which might be the best way to solve this problem? -Or embedded words i.e., “Of all the solutions we’ve discussed, which do you do feel might provide the best solution to this problem?”

20 3. The horizontal items represent the subject of the question (event, situation, choice, person, reason, means) 4. The vertical items represent the process (present, past, possibility, probability, prediction, imagination) Q Matrix

21 Some ideas for use Post as a reference chart in the classroom
Use it to create test questions Use it to develop centre activities Have students use it to prompt their own questions when reading

22 Q Matrix Quadrants: “A” Asks for facts “B” Asks for comparisons, explanations, examples “C” Asks for predictions and possibilities “D” Asks for speculations, probabilities and evaluation

23 Questioning: 2 main types
Everyday Questions questions that are asked without planning usually require a yes/no answer or a one word answer usually don’t require much thought Questioning: 2 main types

24 Questioning: 2 Main Types
Educative Questions questions that are planned in advance usually at a higher level of thinking purposeful clearly focused carefully conceived well formulated (J.T.Dillon) Questioning: 2 Main Types

25 The educative question- created BEFORE the lesson
Identify the purpose: what do you hope students will learn from the question? Determine the content focus: what specifically is your question going to be about? Select the cognitive level: study Bloom’s Taxonomy to help you write a question that will move students to a higher level of thinking. Consider wording and syntax: your question must be clear, specific and precise- not double barrelled or wishy washy. Write it out, say it out loud, think like a student

26 Questioning considerations
For recitation or discussion? Convergent or divergent? Lower order or higher order thinking? Related to curriculum expectations? Related to real world, student experience? Planned or spontaneous? Research has shown a link between effective questioning and learning Teachers ask a lot of questions- often off the top of their heads Our challenge is to ask fewer questions, but BETTER questions, phased sequentially to build understanding and to extend thinking What kinds of question are you asking your students?

27 Classroom Questions Closed: Limited number of acceptable responses
Open: Large number of acceptable responses

28 Closed questions Used to gather specific information.
Questions such as “what is the name of this river? What shape is this? “ These questions typically have one answer. Questions that begin with who, what, when and where are typically closed questions. Closed questions

29 When posing questions, it is best to try to phrase these in such a way that invites many responses. For example, asking “what did you notice about the guinea pigs?” is different from “Did you notice the guinea pig’s legs?” Examples of Open ended questions: What do you think might happen next in the story? Open-ended questions

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