Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Isn’t it interesting that one of the most powerful teaching strategies is frequently overlooked? Between screens and assessment, there is the hidden secret of asking GOOD questions. As simple as it may seem, that’s something we can all practice and improve in 2016. 

Why ask questions?
     *Spark children’s interest
     *For assessment
     *To evaluate teaching effectiveness
     *To see where students are to set new goals
     *Evaluate children’s level of understanding
     *Motivate students to seek information
     *To encourage children to see new relationships
     *To challenge children to think critically
     *To help students make personal connections with the information
     *To encourage communication and learning among students
     *To summarize and evaluate

Here are some general tips for asking good questions:

Open-ended – Ask open-ended questions, rather than “yes” or “no.”
Convergent questions have one answer, but divergent questions encourage students to make new connections and think outside the box.

Phrase Questions Clearly – Focus on one aspect at a time.

Acknowledge Responses - Avoid judging answers by repeating their response. “Good thinking!” “That’s close.” “I never thought about that before.” “Kiss your brain!”

How did you know that? Encourage children to “think out loud.” This will help peers develop higher thinking skills.

Probe – Extend students’ thinking by having them clarify an idea or support an opinion.

Give Time (Smile! J) – Help children think about what they want to say and provide for individual differences by asking children to smile if they know the answer. Allow at least 3-5 seconds of think time.

Pause – Pause a few seconds after students have responded. This may encourage them to think more deeply or to elaborate.

Come back tomorrow for some specific strategies that are easy to implement and could have powerful results!

Isn't this the best "kiss your brain" hat ever?  
It's almost as awesome as the wonderful teachers I met 
when I did a workshop in Vero Beach last Saturday!