Questioning, Discussion and Student Feedback

Here are MiddleWeb’s 12 most popular articles about asking quality questions in class, scaffolding student discussions, and gathering formative feedback from kids through dialogue.

How to Scaffold Skills for Student Discussions

Meaningful academic conversation makes for sticky learning, but most students don’t bring a high proficiency in the needed skills to the classroom. Expert Jackie Walsh describes a step-by-step process that can help teachers cultivate deep student discussions.

How to Get Your Students to Ask More Questions

Student-generated questions put kids in the driver’s seat, advancing learning and engagement, writes expert Jackie Walsh. To encourage students to ask more questions, teachers need to grow a classroom culture where questioning is valued. Walsh shares five strategies that can help.



Creating a Safe Space for Difficult Conversations

In his powerful book “Not Light, But Fire” teacher Matthew Kay shares three rules of discussion – each centered around listening – that he teaches his students. His goal is to transform the classroom into a true “safe space” for difficult conversations about race and life.

Students Learn from Inquiry, Not Interrogation

Jackie Walsh shares resources and strategies teachers can use to partner with students and create new roles and responsibilities in classroom questioning. Replace traditional “interrogation” with methods of inquiry that reveal understanding and strengthen learning.

How to Improve Your Questioning Techniques

Good questioning helps students build understanding, but poor questioning can deter students from learning. How can you create great questions? Teaching expert and author Barbara Blackburn shares four strategies to involve students daily in effective class discussions.

Wait Time Can Make or Break Your Lesson

How can something as simple as Wait Time have such an incredible impact? It’s the difference between a student, especially an ELL, fully being engaged and participating, and a student becoming frustrated and checking out, writes teaching specialist Valentina Gonzalez.

@ValentinaESL

In the Heat of Learning, Good Questioning Is Key

During classroom discussion, paired Think Times provide a break in the action that helps teachers use student responses to shape effective feedback to learners, says expert Jackie Walsh – provided we “explicitly instruct our students in the what, why, and how of these time-outs.”

Help Students Start Asking Questions Again!

One of our teaching tasks with the highest rate of return on time invested is working with students to develop their capacity and confidence to ask good questions. Teacher educator Curtis Chandler offers research-based tips and tools we need to make eager inquiry an everyday event.

Weaving SEL Into Our Classroom Questioning

Traditional questioning routines can send unintended messages to some students that they are not “smart” enough to engage in classroom conversations, writes author and teaching expert Jackie Walsh. Learn how to weave SEL-friendly questioning into your daily practice.



Learning the Secrets of Good Class Discussions

One area of Matt Smith’s teaching “that has improved tremendously since my novice days” is facilitating productive discussions. Students need to engage in active talk to process complex ideas. This won’t happen until teachers master “wait time” and stop affirming too much.

Engaging MLs in Daily Academic Conversations

If we want multilinguals to develop their speaking skills while learning content (and we do!) then they need multiple opportunities to engage in academic conversation throughout the school day. ML/EL education leader Jenny Vo shares her favorite successful strategies.

Energize Your Classroom with Quality Questions

Quality questions are the “bait” that can hook students into deeper discussions and learning that sticks. Questioning expert Jackie Walsh shares a pair of videos and several templates that will help teachers plan a questioning process that pulls all students in.

And a Book Review . . .

The Keys to Questioning for Formative Feedback

Questioning for Formative Feedback by Jackie Acree Walsh is full of insightful, thought provoking, and practical ways to infuse a classroom with formative questioning, encourage dialogue, and lead to deeper learning for students. A great professional learning adventure, says reviewer Kathie Palmieri.

MiddleWeb

MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA.

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