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.
Tagged: class discussion
Too often classroom questioning becomes pedagogical ping-pong, resulting in predictable, back-and-forth exchanges between teachers and students. Use these questioning strategies and tools shared by teacher educator and former Kansas TOY Curtis Chandler to up your game.
Giving students tools to slice into a text and formulate specific thoughts backed with evidence has transformed NBCT Marilyn Pryle’s classroom discussions. “Instead of tentative guesses from a few, we now have detailed conversations that draw the whole class in.”
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.”
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.
Noting that high quality classroom discussion fosters content learning and critical thinking, social studies teacher Michael Yell reports that Challenging Learning through Dialogue is a powerful resource to help make middle grades discussion more thoughtful, engaging, and real.