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Questioning Powered By Docstoc
Linda Thistlethwaite
Central Illinois Service Center (CIAESC) Western Illinois University

• Nancy Johnson’s text - Active Questioning

• Anthony Manzo - ReQuest Procedure
• Taffy Rafael - Levels of Questioning

• Overviewing the practice of teacher and student questioning • Discussing and practicing two questioning strategies in detail • Discussing and practicing additional strategies in less detail • Developing your own lessons to utilize these strategies

Applicable Content Areas
• • • • Literature Social Studies Health and Science Math

Problem: The text is so difficult for the students that I don’t really expect them to read it!
• Perhaps there are important sections you can expect them to read with guidance. • Many of the activities included could also apply to students reading lecture notes.

Questioning as a Teaching Format in the Content Areas
GOAL Helping students to: Read with a “Questioning” Mind, being ACTIVE Questioners

Getting Started
• What comes to mind (information or feelings) when you hear the word questioning? • What are roadblocks to good questionanswer sessions? • What works for you? • What do you need to learn about questioning as an interactive strategy?

Facts about Questioning
• More thinking goes on when you ask questions than when you answer them. Teachers ask 80 questions an hour; students ask 2. Who’s working harder?
• Teachers answer many of their own questions -- often after waiting only 2-3 seconds for students to respond.

Make Students Active Questioners
• Increase the number of questions they ask (fluency). • Increase the complexity and creativity of their questions (flexibility). • Make them PROUD they have asked a question rather than PLEASED they have answered one.

Responses to Student Questions and Answers
• That’s good thinking!
– The focus is on the process.

• That’s a good question (answer)!
– This implies that another student’s question (answer) might be bad/wrong.

You Already Know a Lot about Questioning!
• Most of you have become very proficient at asking students questions. Discussion via teacher questioning is the backbone of much content area teaching.
• Most of you ask a variety of questions: literal ones, inferential ones, and evaluative ones.

Three Key Points about Questioning
• There’s no such thing as a bad question.

• Most of us can improve the quality of the questions we ask. • We can help students be better questionanswerers, as well as better question-askers.

Your Best Questions
• What have been a couple of the best questions that you’ve asked your students? Refer back to anything you’ve had them read or any issue related to what you teach that you’ve discussed with your students.

Good Questions:
There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question

• Sometimes YES-NO questions best suit your purposes. • Sometimes questions requiring one-word answers are best. • Sometimes multiple choice questions are best.

Good Questions:
There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question

• Sometimes questions requiring long answers are best. • Sometimes detail questions are best.
• Sometimes main idea questions are best.

Good Questions:
There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question

• Sometimes questions requiring literallystated information are the most important ones to ask.
• Sometimes you need to ask questions that require students to summarize.

Good Questions:
There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Question

• Sometimes the best question is one that encourages students to infer meaning, to go beyond the text.
• Sometimes the best question is one that causes the student to apply what he or she is learning to a new situation or a life experience.

Four Types of Main Idea Questions:
Improving Question-Asking

• Ones whose answers are directly stated in the text (the literal ones) • Ones that often require the student to make connections among various ideas literally stated (low-level inferential ones)

Four Types of Main Idea Questions:
Improving Question-Asking

• Ones that often require the student to use background knowledge and go beyond the literally stated information (high-level inferential ones)
• Ones that require the student to evaluate or to see a new application, perhaps applying the idea to his or her own life (evaluative ones)

Important Detail Questions:
Improving Question-Asking

• • • •

Literal Questions Low-level Inferential Questions High-level Inferential Questions Evaluation/Application Questions (not typically a detail type of question)

Taffy Rafael’s Categorization Schema
• “In the Book” Questions
– “Right There” Questions
• literal questions

– “Think and Search” Questions
• low-level inferential questions

Taffy Rafael’s Categorization Schema
• “In my Head” Questions
– “Author and Me” Questions
• high-level inferential questions

– “On my Own” Questions
• evaluative/application questions

Another Way at Looking at Questioning
• Skinny Questions
• Fat Questions

Skinny Questions
(Literal to Low-Level Inferential)
• • • • • Simple Convergent Close-ended Basic recall Right answer

Skinny Questions
• Who? What? Where? When? (typically)
• Why? How? (if the answer is actually in the text)

Skinny Questions for Little Red Riding Hood
• • • • • How many little girls are in the story? What happened first in the story? What color was Little Red’s cape? What did the wolf do to trick Little Red? Where was Little Red going?

Fat Questions
(High-Level Inferential to Evaluative)
• • • • Complex Divergent Open-Ended Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation • No one right answer

Fat Questions
• • • • • • What are all the ways _____________? What if ___________? What might have been _________? How is _________different from ______? What is your point of view about _____? How come________?

Fat Questions
• How do you feel about __________? • List as many reasons as you can why ____? • Imagine that _______. How do you feel about that? • What do you think about when ______? • What comes before ______? • What comes after _______?

Fat Questions
• What if almost all of the teachers in your school were men? • What if students went to school 1/2 days on Saturdays? • Would you rather be the wind or a river? • How would a kite feel about meeting a butterfly? • What questions might a hurricane ask a tornado?

Fat Questions for Little Red Riding Hood
• Would you rather the the Wolf or Little Red? • How is this story like other stories about wolves? • What is your opinion about the intelligence of this wolf? • What other endings to the story might be possible? • How are the Wolf and Grandma alike and different?

Getting Started with Fat Questions
• Introduce fat questions with pictures. • Make readers physically active, perhaps by moving to one side of the room or the other to show their point of view.

Another Look at Categorizing Questions
• Quantity questions: brainstorming/listing – Reproductive: List the parts of a clock – Productive: List all the ways you can tell time other than looking at a clock

Another Look at Categorizing Questions
• Comparing and contrasting
– – – – Characters from two stories/novels Two events or two historical figures Two solutions to a problem Two ideas

Another Look at Categorizing Questions
• Feelings/Point of View/Personification
– Which season of the year makes you feel most happy? – Should it be a law that bicycle riders must wear helmets? – How would a flagpole feel about a 1000 pound flag?

Another Look at Categorizing Questions
• What if?
– What if human beings did not have tongues?

• What would happen if?
– What would happen if everybody earned the same amount of money?

Another Look at Categorizing Questions
• How come?
– How come jumbo shrimp are so small?

• Why?
– Why don’t people learn from their past mistakes?

Questions to Help Improve Study Skills
• What do I know (not know) about this? • Why am I doing this? How will this help me? • What resources will I need? • When does this have to be done? Do I need help? • How do I feel about doing this?

Study Skills: Keeping a Questioning Log
• • • • • • Questions that didn’t get answered “Wondering about” questions How come? Questions What if? Questions Questions that made me angry Questions I need to think more about

Think -Alouds
• Help students to answer questions more effectively and to ask better questions • Can be used in conjunction with LEAP or StarBack or LEAP • Help students to become aware of thinking-whilereading strategies that good readers use

Letting students into your mind
• If you were to let students “sit on your shoulder” and listen in as you think to yourself while you read, what would they hear?
• MODEL how you want them to actively read.

Think -Alouds
• The teacher selects a short selection of text, perhaps just a paragraph in length. • The teacher reads aloud to the students and stops periodically (perhaps after each sentence) to model what he or she is thinking.

Think -Alouds
• It’s best to model brief sections of text frequently than to do a comprehensive modeling of a longer selection (even when working with older students). • Incorporate student input.

• You might have a chart on the wall of the various kinds of thinking processes that good readers use.

Think-Aloud Processes
• • • • • • • Make a plan Make predictions; wonder about & imagine Assess what you know Recognize that it’s OK to be wrong Know and use fix-up strategies Know when fix-up strategies aren’t enough Know and use strategies for remembering

Think-Aloud Processes
• Make a PLAN to comprehend before reading.
– How difficult is this going to be? – What will I probably learn (about)? – I must remember to stop periodically to make predictions. – I should stop after each paragraph and try to summarize in my own words. – Will it be a good idea to take notes while I read?

Think-Aloud Processes
• Make predictions; wonder about & imagine
– about what will happen next – about a question that might be answered in the next section – about the next issue to be discussed – about a possible answer to a problem posed

Think-Aloud Processes
• Assess whether or not you are understanding.
– – – – – This is making sense! This is like ___________. My prediction was right! What does that word mean? I’m confused!

Think-Aloud Processes
• Recognize that it’s OK to be wrong.
– That prediction wasn’t right, but that’s OK. – I thought that word meant __________, but now I’m not so sure.

Think-Aloud Processes
• Recognize when the material isn’t making sense and know fix -up strategies to use, and USE them.
– I need to re-read that (maybe out loud). – I need to review _________ (something read earlier that is related). – I’m going to takes notes (or make a diagram). – I’d better look that word up in the dictionary.

Think-Aloud Processes
• Know when a fix-up strategy won’t be enough; know other strategies to use and USE them.
– For now, I’ll just read on. – I can’t pronounce the name of this place (Constantinople). I’m going to call it Stan. – I need to talk to someone who understands this. – I’d better find something easier to read!

Think-Aloud Processes
• OKAY, I’ve understood; now I need to remember.
– – – – I’ll take notes. I’ll make a chart or graphic organizer. I’ll make a set of vocabulary cards. I’ll go back and write some summary comments in the margin.

Problems You Might Have Encountered
• Have you ever felt that although you had a good discussion, it was just with five or six students in the class?
• Have you ever been frustrated with students not being able to answer your questions?

Two Strategies for All Teachers K-12 that Address these Problems
• LEAP • Star-Back Questioning

Scenario 1: A Problem Arises When
Asking Students What They Remember

When you ask students what they remember from what they read, they can’t seem to remember anything!

A Solution: LEAP
Helping Students Be Better Question -Answerers: • List

• Evaluate
• Ask • Ponder

• Step 1 : L - List
– Have students read a short section (perhaps just a couple of paragraphs). – Have them record four ideas they remember. – If they can’t remember four ideas, have them re-read. – Have them check their ideas with the text to see if they’ve remembered them correctly.

• Step 2: E - Evaluate
– In pairs or groups of four, have students compare the four points they remembered. – Have students evaluate which of the points would be important information to base questions on.

• Step 3: A - Ask Questions of the Teacher
– Have each group write three questions to ask the teacher. – Give each group the opportunity to question the teacher, asking its “best” question.

• Step 4: P - Ponder
– Now it’s time for the students to ponder the questions that the teacher asks about the same section of text.

– The teacher’s questions focus on important points not covered and provide models of the types of questions that students might ask.

• If students are having difficulty composing questions:
– Herringbone
– Question Wheel – 5Ws and an H Newspaper Activity

Benefits of LEAP
• Students become more independent learners. They are in charge of their own learning because they’re ASKING questions. • Teachers have an opportunity to MODEL good questioning behaviors. • The strategy incorporates Manzo’s “ReQuest” in a collaborative format.

Scenario 2: A Problem Arises When
Asking Good Questions

You ask a thought-provoking question, one of your best, and the student just stares at you embarrassed and not having a clue of what you’re looking for.

Possible Options When Students Can’t Answer the Question
• Do you ask someone else?
• Do you answer the question yourself? • Do you ask back-up questions, helping the student to figure out the answer to your original question?

Possible Options When Students Can’t Answer the Question
• Do you involve several students as you ask your back-up questions? • Do you assume students will have difficulty with the inferential question and BEGIN with the back-up questions (which now become lead-in questions)?

Star-Back Questioning: Being Ready with Back-Up Questions:

Helping Students Be Better Question -Answerers:

If you choose options 3, 4 or 5, you’re using the “Star-Back” Strategy.

Star-Back Questioning
• Ask those questions that focus on what you really want students to remember. These are questions that you’ve STARRED -- at least in your mind.
• For each starred question, be ready with back-up questions that will lead students toward the answer to the STAR question.

Example “STAR” Question
• Why might humans identify with grizzly bears even though they’re killers?

Answer to the Example “STAR” Question
• What did Carrie Hunt say that both her happiness and the happiness of grizzly bears depended on? • How can we learn about heart disease or osteoporosis by studying grizzly bears? • What do the grizzlies need to be taught?

Benefits of Star-Back Questioning
• Students use what they know to figure out what they don’t know. • Students are provided the scaffolding they need to be successful. • Students learn that “hints” to answers are provided by the text even if the total answer is not there.

Seven Other Activities to Consider to Help Students Understand Content Area Texts
• • • • • • • Intro: Using Logic to Sequence BEFORE Reading Developing thinking processes: Guide-O-Rama Questioning: What’s the Question to that Answer? Questioning: Cubing Questioning: SCAMPER Organizing: Semantic Feature Analysis Organizing: Quadrant Charts

Predicting: Using Logic to Sequence BEFORE Reading
• Students place key statements from the text in a logical order BEFORE reading; they read to confirm whether their order is correct or incorrect.
• This activity is limited to use with material for which the sequential order is important.

Predicting: Using Logic to Sequence BEFORE Reading
• The statements may be directly taken from the text but more often are summary statements about important ideas in the text.
• Students use background knowledge, logic, transition terms, and repeated ideas in order to do the sequencing.

Developing thinking processes: Guide-O-Rama
• This is a Think-Aloud written down. • Some items on the Guide-O-Rama are telling students something that will help them understand the text. • Some items on the Guide-O-Rama require the student to DO something to indicate having understood.

Developing Thinking Processes: Guide-O-Rama
• You would probably just want to do one a semester. • Prepare the guide for about a three-page section of text. • The goal is to help students be able to guide themselves while reading and have no need for the teacher’s Guide-O-Rama.

Questioning: What’s the Question to that Answer?
• Rather than finding answers to questions, students develop appropriate questions for teacher-provided answers.
• Generally, the more specific the answer, the more students are guided toward having one specific question that could logically fit the answer.

Cubing: Traditional Character or Historical Figure Analysis Concepts
• A description of the person (physical characteristics, background, profession) • What the reader likes and dislikes most about the person • A major action that the person took and arguments for or against this action

Cubing: Traditional Character or Historical Figure Analysis Concepts
• A relationship that the character had to another person • A comparison of this person to a similar person (in this or another story; in history) • A contrast of this person to another person (in this or another story)

Cubing: Creative Character or Historical Figure Analysis Concepts
• The three gifts that the person would most like to receive for Christmas • One gift that this person would give to each of three other persons • The dream that the person had last night

Cubing: Creative Character or Historical Figure Analysis Concepts
• What this person hopes for his children or grandchildren • The two pieces of advice that the character would like to pass on to others • What the person would choose to do if money were not a problem

Questioning: SCAMPER
• Students answer “What if?” types of questions based on adding to, deleting from, or in some way modifying the information provided in the text. • Sometimes these creative questions require a complete understanding of the text in order to answer; other times they depend more on the student’s imagination.

Questioning: SCAMPER
• This activity requires some risk-taking on the part of students since they are going BEYOND the text.
• Although designed for gifted students, it works equally well with less able readers.

Organizing: Semantic Feature Analysis
• Using a grid, students compare things, people, events, or ideas when given a variety of characteristics or specific areas for comparison. • This can require students to respond with a simple + or -. They can also use 1-2-3. • Other formats can require students to write information in the various grid squares.

Quadrant Charts
• Quadrant 1: The target word • Quadrant 2: Synonyms and definitions • Quadrant 3: Personal associations • Quadrant 4: Antonyms or nonexamples