Sunday, September 29, 2013

Blog Post #6

How to Ask a Question
As teachers, we need to be able to ask effective questions to our students. Many times I have been in a class where the teacher asks, "Does anyone have any questions?" My answer was always no, even if I didn't quite understand what was taught. This primarily is for math classes. And I'm not the only student that does that. So how do we avoid being that teacher? The answer is simple. Ask students open-ended questions that provoke their thoughts. Dr. Chelsey gives a great example of the difference in closed and opened-ended questions in her short video. If we ask students questions that have already been set up for a question, we have to expect a short answer. Now if we ask them a question that leaves it open for them to elaborate, they will go into detail about their thoughts on the subject.
Questions anyone?
Ben Johnson made a great point in his blog when he said that we ask students questions like we don't know the material ourselves. I can understand why we ask those questions though. We ask them to see if the students truly understand what we have just taught them. The downfall is that some students may not know that they don't know. In his blog, he mentioned question strategies researched by Mary Budd Rowe. Her theory is to ask a question, wait three seconds, and randomly choose a student to answer it. She believes this works because the students are all thinking of the answer because they do not know who will be called on!
Teacher asking questions to eager students.
This past week, I worked with a third grader on his reading assignment. A question was posed to find a word in the text (the word was preen) and tell how he knew what it meant. When I looked at his answer, he had put that preen meant to cuddle. It clearly stated in the same sentence preen was used in that it meant to clean. He was set that it meant to cuddle. I asked him why he thought it meant that, and he responded that he learned that in class. I think now that had I asked him in a different way, he may have understood that his answer was wrong. I do think that teachers sometimes ask the wrong questions to their students. We can overcome that by just changing the wording in our question. I am learning in my field experience the differences in my questioning. Next time I am tutoring, I will be sure to ask an open-ended question.


  1. Good. I suggest maybe going into Customize and changing the color of the links. It's a little hard to discern which words are hyperlinked without hovering over them!

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I normally put my links in bold but missed this one.