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Just One Thing-Students Ask Questions

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Oct. 19, 2014, 4:19 p.m.

How many questions do you ask each day? How many questions do your students ask? Most teachers ask the majority of the questions. One little thing that you can do to help students process new learning is to turn the questioning over to the learners. Asking questions helps the learner to process content and information. Over the next week, make it a goal to have your students ask at least 50% of all questions. Start by generating question stems with your students and posting an anchor chart to help students generate questions about the content they are learning. Then, instead of providing answers to the assignments, homework, or tests, group students in pairs or trios. Have students identify areas of misunderstanding or confusion and generate questions they have about the work. Students need to work together to answer the questions and explain thinking, while you monitor the groups and provide coaching as needed. Make sure the learners identify any procedural errors and make corrections. As students question and discuss, they are processing and revising their understandings resulting in learning the content or procedure at a higher level of thinking. Simply put, whoever asks the questions, does the learning. Questioning is one simple thing you can do to maximize the learning in your classroom!

5Ws chart for students



Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

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Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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