Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blog Post #6

Questions Drive Thinking

"What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" -Dr. Strange

EDM310 has taught me that "questions are more important than 'answers'." Asking questions gives feedback to the teacher and gets the students involved and engaged.

Have you ever thought of a question to ask, but didn't know how to ask it? Have you ever had a teacher ask you a question and you didn't know what she was asking? I have! The teacher would ask a question and no one in the room would raise their hand or respond. Was it because they didn't know what the teacher was asking or was it because they didn't know the answer? In Joanne Chesley's video, Asking better questions in the classroom Pt. 1, she discusses the difference between an open-ended question and a closed-ended question. A closed-ended question is asked for the student and can be answered in one word such as "yes" or "no." It can also be answered in a short phrase. An open-ended question leaves the form of the answer up to the person who is responding which requires more thinking. Often times teachers get what they ask for, literally. They will ask a closed-ended question, but are looking for an open-ended response.

In the article, Asking Questions to Improve Learning, strategies for improving questions and responding effectively are presented. One important thing to remember, you are modeling a process that students can use themselves. When asking a "yes-or-no" question, make sure to follow with an additional question asking students to explain why they answered the way they did. Make sure the questions are direct, clear, and specific. For each class session, include notes of when to stop and ask questions. This will make the class more interactive and help you measure and improve student learning. No one wants to sit in a class where the teacher never gets the students involved and interactive by not asking questions. When responding to students, always show interest in students' answers, right or wrong. Let them finish their answer before responding.

All of these strategies will help me make improvements when asking questions as a teacher. As teachers, we need to ask questions that involve the students getting involved and thinking. I cannot wait to use all of these strategies in my classroom! They were all very helpful and useful.


  1. Lauren,
    Your summaries this week are thoughtful and to the point.
    " are modeling a process that students can use themselves." Great point!

    Also you mentioned allowing the students to finish their response before interrupting or correcting them. I think this is very important as well! Let the students get their thoughts out completely and then give feedback.

    Good job!

  2. Lauren, very nice post! i agree with Melissa, it is extremely important to let a student finish before interrupting!! Great job!

  3. Good summaries. thoughtful. Well written.

    How can you get everyone involved in addressing all questions?

  4. Great job! I feel like this is great preparation for student teaching! You will be given some command of a classroom and need to know how to effectively ask questions, because your cooperating teacher may or may not shed much light! I thought back to all the teachers who ask questions but didn't let me finish, or asked a question that was worded in a confusing way. Students can get excited about knowing an answer and may cut another student off before they are finished, and to solve this, I have seen teachers use a talking stick to make sure they take turns!
    Keep up the good work, Lauren!