Questioning Techniques

Teaching Idea

"Way of the Sausage"
Rolf Palmberg and Olav Palmqvist: Lecturers

"English language teachers often spend the first ten or fifteen minutes of a lesson revising the text introduced in the previous lesson. Here is an activity that provides variety and pupil motivation in those revision sessions. It is suitable for individual work, pair work, or group work.

Give the pupils a text version where all nouns have been deleted and replaced with one single irrelevant word, e.g. �sausage�. The sentence �The man went into the forest and saw two birds�, taken from an imagined text, would thus read: �The sausage went into the sausage and saw two sausages.�

Invite the pupils to recreate the original text, either orally or in writing. If they like the activity (and most of them inevitably will), challenge them to prepare similar texts at home."

Teaching Idea

"For the Lazy Listener"
Sue Collier, Classroom Teacher Grade 3/4 Melbourne Australia

"Giving explicit instructions is an art. Even the best of us have students that as soon as you have finished giving instructions will ask what they have to do. My solution to this is to have a sign at the top, in the middle of the white/blackboard that states C 3 B 4 M E. Simply, this is to remind all to ask three other students what they wish to know before asking the teacher. Nine times out of ten it works!"

Teaching Idea

"Clap If You Agree"
Teresa Mull: 2nd Grade Teacher

"I have a student answer a question then I say to the class clap once if you agree. Then clap twice if you disagree. Then the majority of clapping will let you know if they understand or not."

Teaching Idea

"Everyone Answers"
Betty Bruhn: Technology Teacher

"In order to have everyone participate in answering a question, I use a variety of techniques. Students will answer a yes or no question, or make a choice between two answers, every student must raise either hand to represent their answer. For those who are unsure of the "correct" answer, they usually look around the room to see what most of the others are doing. Then, I reinforce their answers by asking the question again and getting a verbal response. Lots of sensory learning going on.

Another method is to use thumbs up or thumbs down.

For more than two choices... I have students use their fingers to indicate choice one - one finger, choice two, two fingers, choice three, three fingers, and so on."

Teaching Idea

"Reviewing for Final Exam - High School Math"
Angela Carreira: High School Math Teacher

"I found that my students were overwhelmed with the amount of material needed to review for the end-of-course comprehensive final exam. Also, I found it was difficult to hold their attention for long enough periods of time to sufficiently review the entire course.

So now I have my students do their own review and use it as part of their final exam grade. I have the students do a project where they type out three different example problems of things they learned in the course. Each problem must be from a different section of the course. They must draw a diagram, label it, and write out details of how to solve the problem. They must also give a hint on how to solve such as: "Don't forget to square the radius BEFORE you multiply." Not only does this help the students review different topics we learned on their own, they also learn a lot by having to prepare a presentable project. Most of my students enjoyed the project and some turned in outstanding work!"

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