Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blog Post 4

"What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?" Dr. Strange asked us to write a blog answering this very question. When I initially read this, I stopped and thought about what kind of answer I would give to this question without looking at the sources he provided to help us answer the question. I decided that teachers need to know when a question is a valid question or one that is asked just to waste time. They also need to know how to teach students to properly ask questions in class.

After reading The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom, I realized that this question wasn't just pertaining to the student. It was also focusing on the teacher. This blog, written by Ben Johnson, points out a really great fact that teachers ask the question "Does everyone understand?" every day know good and well that there are some students who don't really understand. Johnson says, "The fallacy with this thinking is that sometimes the students do not understand that they do not understand, and if they do not know what they do not know, there is no way that they can ask a question about it." This could not be more true. I feel like he is speaking exactly about me when he says this. In high school (and sometimes in college), I often never realized when I didn't understand something until I got the grade back on the test (this happened more often in math class). He says the best way to get feedback from the class is to ask more specific questions to evaluate the classes understanding of the material. When the teacher asks the question, he/she should pause for at least 3 seconds before calling on a specific student to answer. This way every student has time to think about an answer. I definitely will be using this technique in my future classroom.

Questions in the classroom

In the articles, Asking Questions to Improve Learning and Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, I discovered just what kind of questions need to be asked and how they need to be asked. It was suggested that teachers ask a mix of closed ended, open ended (both better described in Asking better questions in the classroom Pt. 1), and managerial questions to really cover all lost ground with students. My favorite part of "Asking Questions to Improve Learning", however, is where it suggests how teachers effectively respond to answers. The one I know I will have to work on the most is to not interrupt students' answers. That is one of my terrible habits, but I plan on working on that starting now.

So, after reading the articles and watching the videos, I feel like my answer to the question stated earlier has changed. I now feel like teachers need to know how to ask questions and what kind of questions need to be asked.


  1. Marisa,
    I too have difficulty in just simply listening to someone before interjecting my own thoughts. I definitely need to start practicing breaking this habit as well. When I think back to high school, and even now, I never realized how the actual wording of a question would affect how much thought I put into the question as well as my interest in the actual question itself. Through the articles and videos in this unit, I feel more prepared to present a lesson to a class with actual valuable questions that would truly get the students involved.

  2. Marsia, I like how teachers should ask specific questions. I agree, asking questions effectively will improve learning. Thanks for sharing different ways to ask questions to students.

  3. Great blog post!! And good job on adding working links and alt/title modifiers!