Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Post #4 - Asking Questions

Many times teachers can fall short in the questions they ask, the way they ask them, or even to whom the questions are asked. I remember growing up, most of the questions teachers would ask required short answers for the answer. In addition to that they were directed to a select few students. It was always the students who were deemed the "smart kids" who usually had the answer that were called upon. There were several articles and videos that I reviewed which address this problem.

a clock with the words time for questions

Link to photo source:

In  The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom by Ben Johnson the idea of TPR (total physical response) was mentioned. This is a language teaching tool developed by Dr. James Asher that is based on coordination of language and physical movement. The article did not go into detail as to how to implement this nor did it mention how to ask or answer questions using this. I did like the idea of this though, so I looked into it. After reading over a lecture from Dr. Asher from TPR World, I learned that TPR is for language learning (such as a foreign language). TPR could be useful when teaching younger children, even those speaking the same language as the teacher.

people with question bubbles near their heads

Link to photo source: Right Question Institute

There were several ideas that I liked in Asking Questions to Improve Learning. The first idea was that questions calling for a yes or no answer were not bad questions, they are just questions that need to be followed up with "why?" The second idea I liked from this article was working through multi-layered questions with the students. Asking a multi-layered question in a discussion setting could become too much for the students to answer at once. Breaking the questions down will help the students to answer them. Also, when it comes time for the test, the students will be more capable of answering more complex questions (such as essays) because they worked on that skill in class. The third idea I liked was using specific types of questions to do specific things with the students. For example, closed ended questions should be used to test the student's comprehension and retention. Open ended questions should be used to create discussion or deeper thought. Finally managerial questions should be used to make sure students understand an assignment or have the appropriate materials.

children raising their hands

Link to photo source: Leading with Questions

Questioning Styles and Strategies also had some useful ideas. One of the ideas presented was student calling. This is where a student will call on another student to answer a question. This presents the opportunity for the students to have some control in the classroom as while the teacher still maintains overall control. Giving some control to the students can eliminate some of the feeling of the dictator classroom feel. In this video the students were reviewing the book "Bridge to Terabithia." The questions they were asked were things such as "describe Terabithia." These types of questions could work on the students' descriptive skills and use of descriptive words. There were also questions that were answered in things other than words. The students were told to draw what they thought Terabithia looked like and were then to discuss it. Also one of the children were called upon to use him body to demonstrate what he thought one of the monsters would look like.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie :)
    I love all of your working links and the pictures you added; however, be sure and follow the ALT and title modifier instructions for adding in pictures. You should not have "source:____" underneath your pictures. Overall, good blog this week!