Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I’ve shared the “pick stick” idea before, but if you’ve never made them, this is a good week to give it a try. Take a look and see if you can find “pick” another simple idea for asking more meaningful questions.

Pick Sticks – Ask each child to write his/her name on a large craft stick. Color one end green and one end red. Place the red end in the bottom of a can. Ask a question, and then choose a stick. That child gets to answer the question. Return their stick to the can with the red end up.

Right Now! Right Now! Right Now! – Children stop and freeze. Teacher asks, “Who can tell me something right now that they’ve learned that they didn’t know when they came to school this morning?”

Sign Language (Yes/No) – Teach children the signs for “yes” (wiggle fist in the air) and “no” (touch index and middle finger to thumb like a mouth closing).

How Much Do You Know? - Children hold up on their fingers from 1-5 to indicate how much they know about a particular topic.

Phone a Friend – If children don’t know the answer, allow them to phone a friend (place hand by mouth and ear like a phone) for help.
*They could also “ask the audience” for help with an answer.

Think Partners – Divide children up into pairs and let them discuss answers.
Children can also review information by “teaching” a friend what they have learned.

Written Response – Ask children to write the answer to a question.

Illustrated Response – Have children draw the answer to a question.

Choral Response – Children answer in unison.

Brainstorm – Brainstorm as a large group, small group, or individually.

Question of the Day – Write a thought-provoking question on the board each day. Take time to listen to children’s responses at the end of the day.

Student Created Questions – Let students generate their own questions for a review.

Any more questions? Oh, so you’ve been asked to include higher level questioning strategies in your lessons. Well, come back tomorrow and we’ll do the “Cliff Notes” version of Bloom’s Taxonomy.