As a mother of two young boys, I clearly remember how the toddler phase of questioning was very frustrating for me at times. Anyone with a toddler knows that any question can, and will, be asked about anything. Even when you give an answer, the question “why” will naturally follow. To survive this phase, one must know that even if it is frustrating, their questioning is driven out of their natural desire to know and their personal want to have a conversation and more of your attention.
Whether we are young or older and wiser, asking questions is a natural and intuitive part of our being. Asking questions is also a natural part of every classroom lesson. As teachers, we ask questions as soon as the lesson starts and continue until the end. Asking questions forms part of any lesson because it invites the student to think, and even within a ‘lecture’ style lesson, rhetorical questions are used to invite silent agreement or begin the organisation of ideas to present a response. The question we should ask then is how we can make our questioning as effective as possible.
For more information on effective questioning techniques, please click on read more below.
While using low- and high-level questions in lessons it is important to stop and think about the questioning strategies you use in your teaching. Effective strategies need to be easy to use and have a predictable structure. By questioning strategies being simple in structure and predictable, they help foster student’s metacognitive skills assisting in building a community of responsive listeners and learners. Redirection, prompting, probing, and wait-time are all effective questioning strategies that can be used to promote students' involvement, enhance success, and promote a positive and emotionally safe learning environment.
Click on the chart for a printable .pdf version.
This week my youngest turns five. Over time I have seen his questions evolve. Though they do not contain the high volume of “Why”, I hope he never losses the curiosity and energy behind his questioning. Next year he starts kindergarten and with research telling me that curiosity is at its highest amongst kindergartners, I hope his only continues to grow.
With us all having the same goals for our students we must remember that to instill curiosity in students is to encourage their disposition to learn. After all, whether we are young or older and wiser, asking questions is a natural and intuitive part of our being.
This instructional strategy supports:
Top image by Marco Bellucci
Post by: Johna Sutton | Elkhorn Instructional Coach
This will be a resource built by the staff for the staff to encourage integration of 21st century skills into every student's learning.