Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Blog Post #4

What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?

The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, really brought to light what teachers are doing wrong when they ask their students questions. Teachers assume that if the class does not have questions, that they can move on with the lesson. Sadly, most students are not even sure if they do or do not understand the lesson. Teachers make a mistake whenever they get their students to raise their hands to answers questions. This is because there will always be those students that do not care, and do not want to learn it. These kids will just sit back, and let the more involved children answer the questions so they do not have to. This is not helping their students to learn. If you call on students in this manner, most of the kids will just be relieved they did not get called on, and still will not figure out the answer. A better way to ask students questions, is to randomly select different students. This way, students will never know who will be called on, and will hopefully have their answer. A good way to do this, is by making equity sticks. You can make these with popsicle sticks, and write each child's name on a stick and place it in a cup. Then, you can draw a stick to call on a child. This ensures that different children get a turn to answer questions. It will also help more quiet and shy students to speak out in front of the class.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning also gives a lot of great suggestions on how to ask questions, what kind to ask, how to respond, and etc. One thing in this resource that I found very important, is how the teacher responds to their student's answers. As a teacher, you really need to show your students that you are interested in their responses, whether they are right or wrong. Show that you are actually listening to them and that you care about what they have to say. If the student does happen to give a wrong answer, tell them what is incorrect, and ask a follow up question to lead them in the right direction. Students can get very embarrassed if their answers are wrong, therefore, you really need to be gentle and help them go in the right direction when responding to a wrong answer. This resource also shows us how open-ended questions are helpful in the classroom. They can be used to elaborate, to predict possible outcomes, to illustrate a concept, and many other things.

Can we now answer our question? "What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" I believe we can. Of course there are so many different ways and methods to ask questions, but these are what I found to be most helpful. As future teachers, we will also learn new and even more helpful methods whenever we are in an actual classroom setting. We just need to observe the teachers we work with to learn new things that could be extremely helpful to us in our future classroom.


  1. Hi Kristina. I completely agree with you about calling on different students to answer questions instead of relying on them to raise hands or allow one student to answer all of the questions. I worry about this particularly because I am aiming to teach high school level students and I notice the same problems listed earlier in almost every class I have here at USA. However, I agree that, as teachers, we should be constantly thinking of and trying out new ways to improve learning experiences for our students. I also like your idea for equity sticks for the little ones. It is a great way to develop good class room skills at an early age. :)

  2. You equity sticks idea is nice to use. I think we have all been in a class where the teacher forgot to call on a student by mistake and this idea will make sure EVERY student is called to answer a question.