Asking Questions in the Classroom
Asking questions in the classroom is a very effective technique to increase class participation and active learning. In Ben Johnson's blog The Right Way to Ask a Question, he explained how it is important to pause for a few seconds before calling on a student to answer. It sounded like something so simple, that it would not matter. However, his blog opened my eyes to how important that pause is. During that pause the teacher takes before calling on a student, all of the students are thinking of the answer. If the teacher instantly calls on a student, most of the students will stop thinking about it. This causes the class to become more engaged.
The blog, Asking Questions to Improve Learning, also explained how student participation and active learning increases through the use of questions. Teachers should ask concept questions that are open ended, and then follow it up with a yes-or-no question for another student to answer. The teacher should ask one clear, specific question at a time, and the blog suggested that teachers should leave sections in their notes to pause and ask questions. Teachers should also try to avoid answering their own questions or interrupting the student. Teachers should also develop responses to get the students thinking, and build off of the students questions.
In the blog, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, it provides three easy steps to effectively ask questions. First, prepare the questions by asking the right question at the right time. Second, do not tell the students the answer is correct. Instead play with the question by asking a strand of questions that keep the students thinking. Lastly, teachers should preserve good questions for later. They can be used to help teach lessons more effectively.
The video, Questioning Styles and Strategies, is a terrific example of how to properly ask questions in the classroom. The teacher had all of his students fully engaged, and they never knew who would be called next. He asked multiple different types of questions, and had the students elaborate on their answers. He had the students think deeper about the topic.