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Wednesday, September 27, 2017


One of the most powerful teaching strategies isn't something you buy or plug in.  It's the ability to ask GOOD questions that make children think.  Over the next few days I'll try to give you some practical tips and strategies.

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

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!