Many educators understand the impact of asking questions. However, many educators may not be asking higher-order questions soon enough! As soon as the student walks into the classroom an educator can seize this opportunity to grab the student’s attention through questioning.
Asking the Right Question!
Simple enough, a teacher can write a thought-provoking question on the board for students to respond to in a discussion or in a journal. I had my high school English language learners (ELLs) respond to several questions throughout the year in daily journals and collected these every other Friday. This practice significantly improved their writing scores on the SATs. In my adult classes we tend to go the discussion route.
However, asking the right questions takes some forethought.
- The Bloom’s Levels of Taxonomy provide a basis for asking questions.
- Additionally, the teacher should connect the questioning to the lesson objectives and the topic.
- Figure out what you would like your question to accomplish!
- For example, I knew that my online class about RSS readers would confuse some students. Therefore, my goal was to connect the students’ prior experiences with the new information. I decided to question the students about their experiences subscribing to a magazine and use this experience to subscribing to a feed. Below is a poll the students answered as soon as they entered the classroom.
Make it Fun!
Several applications make the answering process quite enjoyable for students.
- If you are fortunate enough to have an Interactive White Board, you can easily have students answer questions using Senteo Clickers which graph the results.
- In the same way, Twitter can be used with an LCD projector to show results in PowerPoint 2007. Joe Dale offers a simple explanation of how to do this using the Poll Everywhere application!
- Several other services and applications can be used for free to have students answering higher-order questions before the lesson begins. Larry Ferlazzo offers a comprehensive list of these applications in his blog. I recently used his number one suggestion, Fo.reca.st, to e-mail my adult students a survey of questions to answer about the next lesson. The survey, which you can view and use, is pictured below. We discussed the results in the classroom.
Your boot camp challenge for this week:
Take the summer to find ways to develop higher-order questions for your lessons! Be creative and share your experience with us!