Thursday, August 4, 2016

Q is for Questions

I don’t think as teachers, we ask enough questions. We spend so much time lecturing and telling and pushing our knowledge out that we don’t take some time to let some information come in. This actually might make teaching easier.

Sometimes I should ask my students what they know about a topic. Instead of starting from square one, they might actually know enough that I don’t need to bore them with the same old information that they already know. Or, they might have some misinformation that might affect how they learn the new information and this needs to be corrected from the beginning.

When the students do poorly on a test, I need to really ask why this happened. I don’t believe that all students are lazy and refuse to study. Maybe some questions were ambiguous and students didn’t understand what the question really was asking. Maybe they misunderstood what I said when we were discussing the lesson. Maybe they were confused about the actual answer. But without asking questions, I won’t know why it happened.

If something affects their behavior, I need to avoid jumping to conclusions or making wrong assumptions. I need to ask questions that will help me understand why the student is behaving a certain way. When I assume that it is because of rebellion or defiance, then I might be missing some important information. I need to put aside my assumptions and really listen to what the student needs to say.

In order to teach higher-order thinking, I need to model this behavior. I need to stop asking students to regurgitate factual information. I need to ask questions like why or how. I need to ask my students what their opinions are and what information they have to support their opinion. The more they do this, the better they will get at doing this.

What questions do you ask in your classroom? Please share.

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