There are many ways to ask a question and some ways are better than others. Thinking about the types of questions that could be asked or even preparing specific questions prior to teaching a lesson will often lead to more effective classroom discussions. It is important to think of thoughtful questions that encourage students to think critically about the concept being learned. In order to be successful at effectively questioning students, teachers must be aware of the type of questions they are directing to the students and use effective questioning practices.
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We know that there is a strong relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension. Systematic vocabulary instruction must be an integral component of a K-12 comprehensive instructional framework While there is no one correct way to teach vocabulary, common characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction have been documented in many professional journals and books. And yet, recent …
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Assessment is an essential component of the teaching and learning cycle but sadly it is one that is often misunderstood. If we are to have any hope of getting it right we must begin with a sound understanding of what we hope to achieve, what is being assessed, who is being assessed and what will be done once the results are available. Sadly the critical questions that lead to this understanding are too often not asked and the answers not clearly communicated resulting in confusion and for
The Maker Movement is a technological and creative revolution underway around the world. Fortunately for educators, the Maker Movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power...
Questioning is a fundamental element of pedagogy, one you could read endlessly around, but the reality is using questioning to challenge and engage all learners is demanding and potentially problematic to get right. Recently I’ve been working with a team of teachers, shaping our CPD model in preparation for the new academic year. Engaging in dialogue around teaching and learning with colleagues is always a pleasure and extremely informative, and one aspect continually crops up; deep, challenging and engaging questioning. Firstly, I think it’s crucial to outline what we are trying to achieve when we think about the purpose of questioning, for me it includes the following:
* Allowing students to develop a fuller understanding of a concept because they have tried to explain it themselves * To easily recall existing knowledge * To be able to link the ideas in the lesson with existing knowledge * To tackle problems at a deep level and be able to extend their thinking * To engage easily with a task because they are clear about what is expected * To develop independence in the way they learn and think
As a high school math teacher I have a wide variety of abilities in my class. When teaching a lesson inevitably the material is going to be too easy for some of my students and too hard for others. If I start a lesson with the basics to introduce the concept I am boring my higher end students. As I move onto more difficult examples my lower end students start to become overwhelmed. Towards the end of the lesson where I am introducing new ideas that my higher end students need to pay attention to, they have zoned out thinking they already know how to do this earlier in the lesson. The low end and middle end students are information overload and they are not feeling confident about being able to do the assignment.
A good question can open minds, shift paradigms, and force the uncomfortable but transformational cognitive dissonance that can help create thinkers. In education, we tend to value a student’s ability to answer our questions. But what might be more important is their ability to ask their own great questions–and more critically, their willingness to do so."
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