(Today’s post is for the letter Q in the A-Z challenge.)
I try my best to encourage my students to ask questions. I may not know the answer but I will help them find the answer if I don’t know it. I have a chance to learn something too!
When I was growing up, I was told it was rude to ask questions. My parents expected me to do what was asked without asking why so I had a hard time in school with questions. I was terrified to ask a question and was willing to not understand. I was under the impression that teachers would consider me rude or insubordinate if I asked questions even though they encouraged it.
With my own background in mind, I try to remember that some of my students may feel the same way. So, when planning a lesson, I try to come up with questions that they might ask and plan on answering them. I even go over the questions as well as the answers when I’m reviewing a lesson. I might even tell them that these questions might be on a quiz or a test which helps some of them focus more on what I am saying.
There are also the students who won’t ask a question because they are afraid of looking “dumb” in front of their peers. I want to encourage these students to ask questions and I have to find a way to encourage them without scaring them. I sometimes meet with them one on one so they can ask questions. I ask questions so I can check out if they understand what I am telling them. Sometimes this helps them having to ask the question first. I also monitor what they are doing so I can see which steps they don’t understand.
Because of the way that I was brought up, not only didn’t I know how to ask questions but I didn’t know how to form the questions. So, not only should we encourage students to ask questions but teach them how to ask questions and what questions to ask.
Even today when I go to seminars, I try to observe questioning techniques. I also listen to the types of questions that are asked and how they are worded. It shows me how certain questions lead to certain understandings. This helps me guide questioning in my own classroom.
How do you encourage students to be more successful in asking questions? Please share?