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1. D A Gajic 2009 QUESTIONING GOLDEN RULES 1. Questioning techniques need to be varied: over-reliance on the ‘volunteer’ method is to be avoided. 2. Questioning is a…
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  • 1. D A Gajic 2009 QUESTIONING GOLDEN RULES 1. Questioning techniques need to be varied: over-reliance on the ‘volunteer’ method is to be avoided. 2. Questioning is a key tool in Assessment for Learning strategies: for allowing the teacher to test learning, for involving students in applying assessment criteria and for developing listening skills. 3. Students need time to think, to know how long they have to respond. QUESTIONING STRATEGIES 1. No Hands Up: Students cannot shout out OR put their hands up to indicate that they know the answer to the question. Teacher chooses students to answer question. Keep them on their toes! Students can use phone a friend if they are really struggling. 2. Phone a Friend: Empower a struggling student, who does not have the answer to your question, by asking them to choose three students, who do have an answer ready, to give their answers and then the struggling student chooses the ‘best’ answer and explains their reasons for their choice. 3. Staged Questioning: to increase level of challenge: What is this called? When would you use it? How does it work? 4. Olympic Challenge Questions: Stage plenary questions in terms of Bronze, Silver and Gold. Who would like to go for ‘Gold’ and answer the Gold question? 5. Quality Control Questioning: Ask for a volunteer to answer but choose another student to agree/disagree with their answer and ask them to explain why. Depending on the question these secondary questions can work well: Who agrees? Who disagrees? Who has a different answer? 6. Secondary Questioning: Ask students to explain an answer (either their own or that of another student) in more detail. 7. Three Part Questions: Ask first student a question. Ask second student to explain the first student’s answer. Ask third student to agree/disagree and explain why. 8. Ask three before me: Turn ‘teacher-to-student-to-teacher-to-student’ focused ‘Ping Pong’ style questioning into ‘Netball’ questioning by asking the students (during independent/group work) to ask three other students before asking the teacher. Empowers other students to work together and reduces the view of the teacher is a polymath. 1
  • 2. D A Gajic 2009 9. Traffic Lights: Students show colour red/amber/green to show whether they are unconfident/quite confident/confident that they know the answer. 10. Elicitation: Ask students to ‘Go on…’ 11. Secondary Questioning: Ask students: ‘Who would like to add to that?’ 12. Challenge Questions: Introduce challenge. Instead of ‘How many strengths and limitations of this study can you think of?’ try; ‘Think of at least three strengths and three limitations of this study’ 13. Opinion Based Questioning: Use ‘Do you think that…?’ as often as possible in order to allow for the fact that opinion based/discussion answers are less threatening than the feeling that there is one absolute answer. 14. Question Preview: Give a preview of a question which most students will only be able to answer at the end of the lesson. 15. Rehearsal Time: Pair rehearsal of an answer to a question. 16. Answer Limit Maximum/Minimum: Students cannot answer in more/fewer than 15 words. 17. Targeted Questions: Improve self esteem for individuals by eliciting answers one to one and then targeting whole class questions at the student who is ready with their answer. 18. Mixed Ability Questioning: Improve self esteem for individuals by working one to one and then targeting whole class questions at that student BUT then ask a more able student to add to that answer then ask the weaker student to agree/disagree. 19. Hints/Clues: Give students signals/hints about the kind of answer that would best fit the question. 20. Most Likely Answers: Ask students to produce their top four most likely answers and then play ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ with the choices. 21. Reading Strategy Questions: Before handing out a reading text or cloze activity, ask students which reading strategy they think will help them find the answer (s) (i.e. skimming/scanning/close reading) then allow students to read and find the answer and ask them if their predicted reading strategy was the one they actually used. Ask them to explain why? 22. Burning Questions: Give students a topic and the students must think of their top five essential questions to find out more about the topic. If they can answer the question themselves, then the question isn’t challenging enough! Will require modelling from the teacher before students understand how it works. 2
  • 3. D A Gajic 2009 23. Jeopardy Questions: give students the answer and ask them for the question. 24. Question Conversation: The question game – students must continue a conversation on a given topic only using questions: ‘What can’t correlations show?’, ‘Cause, but what kind of relationship can’t they measure?’ 25. Yes/No Game: Play the Yes/No game where students ask each other questions on a given topic and the students must answer correctly but without using the words yes/no. 26. Silent Teacher: Students run the lesson by asking questions about a topic. The teacher cannot speak the answer but can mime or allow a student to answer the question for him/her. 27. Last Man Standing: Question game chain around the class on a given topic (like 24: Question Conversation) but if a student can’t answer in a question they must sit down until there are two students left for a head to head final! 28. Question Banks: Have a departmental brainstorm of all the key questions for a particular topic or scheme of work. Keep the question banks centrally for all staff to access. 3
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