Asking Effective and Engaging Questions
According to Maryellen Weimer, PhD, there are Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom.
- Prepare Questions- This will make sure that the questions flow throughout the lesson. A teacher should not have to think about what comes next in the lesson. There should be a steady flow, and this will happen if the lessons have been practiced. Be prepared for frequent changes in the lessons though.
- Play With Questions- Change questions so that they will be make the students think and be engaged in the lesson. Provide questions in many different ways such as: by mouth, on paper, or leave a question on the board and ask the students to answer it at the end of class.
- Preserve Good Questions- Revise the questions so they are open-ended instead of close-ended. Refocus the questions so that they will accomplish the goals of the lessons.
Also, in Asking Questions to Improve Learning, I read tips on how to respond effectively to questions that are being answered by students.
- Wait for students to think and form questions.- Waiting 5-10 seconds will increase the number of students that volunteer to answer the questions.
- DO NOT interrupt students' responses.- Although you are the teacher and essentially know a lot about the subject, let the student finish answering so that you can determine whether he or she is learning the material and effectively responding.
- Show your interest in the students' response.- Gestures such as nodding your head and keeping eye contact will reassure the student that you are focused and interested in what they are saying. It will give the student more confidence.
- Use follow up questions.- If a student responds incorrectly, tell he or she what was wrong, and then ask another question that will lead the students to the correct answer.
These tips are very useful when it comes to preparing questions for your students. Asking effective questions should be something that every teacher continues to improve on. We should always ask questions that have elaborate answers, lead to other questions, engage students in the lessons, and absolutely DO NOT confuse students.