Blog #20 – BALANCED QUESTIONING IN THE CLASSROOM

Every teacher needs to make balanced questioning in the classroom a priority. In general, most classrooms consist of students with different content knowledge. Also, the classroom possesses students that are more assertive and some that are not. Whether I was asking the questions or my students were asking the questions, I always sought to provide everyone with a broad spectrum of questions. Initially I made an effort to ask questions that would allow for the development of a sound foundation that fulfilled prerequisites of concepts that I wanted to teach. As the lesson progressed I focused on gradually making the questions more complex. When selecting students to answer questions, I made sure that as many students as possible had an opportunity to participate in the lesson. When answering questions, I made an effort to answer questions from both students that were in more need of help and from students that were more advanced in the knowledge of the content area that I was teaching. It is important that questions asked have a purpose. In some instances I used questions to reinforce concepts. In other instances, I used questions to lead students to a path of discovery. As I accumulated experience I was able to predict questions that I would be asked. In these situations, I made sure that I asked those questions. During the class period, I made an effort to provide as much insight into the concepts I was teaching. I encouraged everyone to be an active learner. I made sure that all questions were seen as being important to the classroom discussion. Many times I complemented students for asking what some considered “silly” questions. I made sure that the students knew that I admired students that asked those types of questions, because as far as I was concerned they were the type of questions that many students wanted to ask but seldom did. Balanced questioning in the classroom is a skill that all teachers need to acquire to be successful. If the questions progress from basic to more complex, you will find that students will master concepts quickly and will also experience more success.

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