Effective Question Practice
• Asking fewer questions to stay focused
• Differentiating questions
• Questioning for depth
• Questioning for breadth
• Using wait time
• Selecting students
• Repeating or rephrasing students’ answers
• Giving useful feedback
• Student-initiated contest
Working with Special Students
• Break questions down to sub-questions.
• Paraphrase questions.
• Relate questions to students’ prior knowledge.
• Let them identify information.
• Provide them with cheat-sheet information.
• Use true-false, multiple-choice question formats.
• Provide clues.
• Pair or team students up.
Types of Questions
• Factual information/ memorization
• Understanding (What has happened? What
does it mean? Why? How?)
• Interpretations and inferences
• Critical thinking
• Creative thinking
• Relate questions to students’ prior knowledge
• Don’t just ask a question to one student and
decide if the whole class know the answer.
• Provide students with cues.
• Let students help out.
When Not To Use Questions
• To manage misbehavior
• To help special needs students
• To put down a student
• To offer information (yes, but….)
• To promote student involvement
Examples – Comprehension Qs
• What is the main idea that this chapter
• Describe in your own words what the artist is
trying to say in this cartoon.
Examples – Application Qs
• In each of the following cases, which of Newton’s
laws is being demonstrated?
• According to our definition of socialism, which of
the following nations would be considered
• Write an example of the sexual harassment policy
we have just discussed.
• If Brian works 3 hours to wash the car and it takes
Alicia only two, how many hours would it take
them to wash the car together?
Examples – Analysis Qs
• After reading this story, how would you
characterize the author’s background attitude
and point of view?
• What factors influence the writings of Anne
• How did the role play promote cultural
• What evidence can you cite to validate that
smoking cigarettes is more harmful than drinking
Examples – Synthesis Qs
• What would a descriptive and exciting name for
this video game?
• Write an email to a local newspaper editor on a
social issue of concern to you.
• What would the US be like if the South had won
the Civil War?
• How would you measure the height of a building
without being able to go into it?
• Design a musical instrument that effectively
demonstrates three principles of physics.
Examples – Evaluation Qs
• Decide why young children should or should not
be allowed to read any book they want.
• How do you assess your performance at school?
• Give three reasons that support why this picture
is your best.
• Which U.S. senator is the most effective and
• Taking the role of cultural critic for your local
public radio station, offer reviews of three current
Crack the codes to figure out the
• Write a secret message in the number codes on the
9 12 15 22 5 25 15 21.
• “Can you read the message?” The message is “I love
• What is the number code message for the following
• “The doctor took an x-ray of his arm to see if it is
• There are 26 alphabets in English.
Talk and write math out loud
• To solve a math problem, ask students to explain
their thinking and justify their answers in writing.
Organize students in groups of three or four.
Students will take turns to be speakers and
listeners. They discuss and contribute ideas to
• Robyn Silbey (April, 2003, Instructor magazine)
suggests effective questioning strategies to
promote critical thinking about the “big ideas” in
mathematics. These questions are as follows:
Talk and write math out loud-2
• What do you need to know? What do you need to
find out? (Students are invited to pinpoint the
problem and the information needed for its
• How can you choose a strategy that will help you
solve the problem? (Students peruse their
strategies to match the needs of the problem.)
• Which strategy did you choose? Why? (Students
justify their choice of strategy by describing how it
addresses the conditions of the problem.)
Talk and write math out loud-3
• What will you do first to solve the problem? What will you
do next? (Students make sense of how each step works
toward finding the solution.)
• How did you solve the problem? (Students define the
steps they chose to solve the problem.)
• How will you check your answer for reasonableness?
(Checking strategies may include using inverse operations
• How do you know the answer makes sense? (Students
justify their answers using common sense, logical
reasoning, or estimation strategies.)