“Asking a good question is about executing the act of curiosity,” says Dan Moulthrop.
Questioning is critical in teaching and learning interaction. As classroom teachers, we always plan interactive learning opportunities for our students in which questioning plays an integral part.
What are some questioning techniques you could use in the classroom to foster interaction and effective communication?
As teachers, we can employ a range of asking tactics and reinforce them during the question and answer session in order to excite students and stimulate their thinking in the classroom.
Using effective questioning techniques to engage students in the delivery of the lesson is a highly successful pedagogical fashion in engaging them in the lesson.
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What Are Some Questioning Techniques You Could Use in the Classroom?
With my years in the teaching profession, I can attest to how important it is to develop my questioning skills to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment.
As a great inspiration, I would humbly share some of the questioning techniques that you could also use with your students.
1. Open-ended Questions
One of the best questioning techniques I know is using open-ended questions that could encourage interaction. Open-ended questions best support the culture of inquiry in the classroom because students are given the best opportunity to explain their answers. Hence, they think critically.
“What do you think of the protagonist in the story?”, this question requires elaboration and gives students an opportunity to think critically.
With open-ended questions, you can get more actionable answers aside from developing students’ critical thinking skills. Additionally, throwing open-ended questions will give students the opportunity to come up with creative solutions to problems.
You may ask: What was your favorite part of the lesson yesterday? Why? Or you may ask, ‘Why did you decide to draw a dove in your poster?’ ‘ What’s your favorite part of the story? Tell me more about it’
This process can help students process their thoughts and share their answers so they become more communicative and competent.
2. Stop Questions
As you read a reading selection, you have to involve the readers as much as possible to make their learning experiences more meaningful.
One way of encouraging students to interact with the story they read is to ask questions in between.
Using the follow-along reading strategy, you can pause at certain parts and ask questions relevant to the part they have just read or it could be predicting the next happenings.
“Do you think our main character is heroic enough to save his community? Why do you say so?” By asking these questions, you are to know if your students get the thought and comprehend the text.
3. Think-share-pair strategy
To encourage collaboration in the classroom, you can use the Think-pair-share strategy (TPS) and give students an enriching opportunity to answer questions.
When students work together to answer a question, they are to think about the topic and they can share their answers with confidence.
First, students must think about the topic or question on their own, and then they must share their thoughts with their peers.
4. Picking names
To activate the culture of inquiry in your classroom, you can initiate the questioning activity using the pick names strategy.
Assuming that the same few students are responding to all of your queries, you may choose which student will respond to each question individually.
Perhaps you’d want to write each student’s name on a separate card. To select who will answer the question, a name will be drawn and recorded.
This encourages all pupils to think about the solution and prepare to present their views to the entire class as a result.
5. Build on motive questions
The best way to introduce a story is to ask motive questions. Asking questions before reading can motivate students to get excited about reading.
Motive questions are built upon the experiences of the students. It’s about creating schema prior to reading a text. Hence, you should craft sensible and relevant questions that will increase student engagement and excitement.
The motive question is part of the motivation that also creates an impact on student engagement.
The motive questions are general and practical inquiries that somehow hit students’ experiences that you think are relevant to the theme of the story they’re about to read.
6. Ask questions before, during, and after reading
This is one of the most effective ways of enhancing students’ reading comprehension skills.
Through this technique, you are helping your students become active readers for they will be thinking critically about the material.
Asking questions before, during, and after reading is a method that can keep students excited about learning or reading.
For a variation, you can also ask your students to craft their own questions during reading and exchange them with their seatmates or classmates.
What do you think this story is all about? What does the title tell you? These are some sample questions that you can ask before reading and then go your way during reading.
What has happened in the first part of the story? Where does the story take place? These are examples of questions that students can ask themselves while reading to make sure that they understand what they are reading.
7. Ask follow-up questions
To expand students’ understanding of a concept or a story, it’s useful to throw follow-up questions and involve all the students.
Relevant and realistic questions can foster students’ confidence to express their ideas and opinions.
Additionally, for this method to be effective, you should know when is the best time during the discussion to ask follow-up questions so your students can connect to its relevance.
When it comes to determining how well your pupils grasp the material you’ve taught them, follow-up questions are critical.
The replies of pupils to these questions are a fantastic approach to determining which students need more examples and remediation.
8. Closed-ended questions
If you want responses that can be charted on a graph and used to demonstrate statistics and percentages, you should ask a closed-ended question.
Although closed-ended questions offer students with predetermined responses, they are given the opportunity to reflect and think about the correctness of their answers if it’s a Yes or a No, or if they agree or strongly agree.
One great advantage of using closed-ended questions is achieving a high response rate from the students. Because they will just have to choose their answers, those timid ones are still confident in sharing their choice.
It might be simple on the part of the students, but if your closed-ended questions are crafted well and you check their relevance to your topic, they are still effective in checking learning and encouraging discussion in the classroom.
Furthermore, closed-ended questions are flexible and you can use them at any point of your lesson. You can use it at the start of your lesson for a brief recall of the previous lesson.
For example, if the students are learning about nouns, where you discussed Proper and Common nouns, it would make sense if you ask a closed-ended question, such as ‘Is Britanny a proper noun?’ or simply ask ‘What are common nouns?’.
Or if you might want to start asking your students how they are, you can ask, ‘How was your day?’ ‘Did you have breakfast?’
9. What-if questions
Asking what-if questions helps students communicate their sensible thoughts. They can really make a difference in student learning and interaction.
Through the use of meaningful what-if questions, you may also educate students to offer thought-provoking questions to which they will seek solutions in the future.
Moreover, ‘What-if ‘ questions’ can spark conversations effectively. They are great discussion starters. These are hypothetical questions that require your students to think critically.
You can use What-if questions in getting-to-know-you activities or in funny games. In this method, students will think for a moment and share their best answers. When structured effectively, what-if questions can make students ponder so deeply for their answers.
“What if you were given the power to change the world? What changes would you make?” “What if you were given the opportunity to fly to the moon? Would you accept it? Why?
What-if questions can also be utilized in your ice breaker activities that will make the class livelier and more fun.
10. Reflective questioning
Reflection plays an important role in learning. It intensifies learning-by-thinking which allows students to make connections and relevance to past learning experiences.
In order for learners to benefit from their learning experience, they must take a step back and analyze what they have learned and how far they have come.
This allows your students to develop their critical thinking skills and enhance their performance.
How can you use the knowledge you’ve gained from this lesson? Based on what you’ve gained, in what way can you improve yourself? In what ways can you do things differently? These and more reflection questions can stimulate learning and meaningful experiences in the classroom.
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The Importance of the Art of Questioning
The art of questioning is at the heart of every teaching and learning interaction.
Questioning, which is the foundation of the teaching activity, boosts memory, intensifies the learning process and understanding, fosters imagination and problem-solving, fulfills the feeling of curiosity, and increases the level of ingenuity in the learner.
Questioning helps to expand the learning process while also encouraging imagination and problem-solving skills.
Questioning satisfies curiosity while also increasing students’ creativity.
Questions are aids in teaching that can magnify learning. Effective questioning is a critical skill that all of us teachers must learn if we are to become successful in our roles as facilitators of learning.
We will not be able to adequately evaluate our students’ knowledge of ideas if we do not have the capacity to effectively probe into their minds through questioning.
Furthermore, questions assist to pique students’ attention and improve their willingness to study. Are there any other questioning techniques I’ve missed, please share them in the comment section below.