Questioning and Discussion Techniques

2.1 Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques

classroom-discussion-questions.jpgMost of the teacher’s questions are of high quality. Adequate time is provided for students to respond.

Highly effective lessons include high quality questioning and discussion techniques throughout the lesson segment. These elements enhance student problem- solving skills, provides space for clarification of concepts, offers data to inform the next steps in instruction, and encourages higher-level thinking and reasoning. High quality questioning that focuses students’ attention on important elements of the lesson supports students in mastering the lesson objective. High quality questioning is best organized using Bloom’s Taxonomy. Higher level questioning is interpretive, inquiry based, inferential, open- ended, and synthesis questions. I incorporate higher level questioning into my math lesson every day by asking some of the following questions:

Is there a different strategy to solve this problem?

How do you know this is the correct answer?

Do you agree with this answer? Why or why not?

Is this the most efficient way to solve the problem? Why or why not?

What do your numbers represent?

What do your drawings represent?

Questions like theses are not fact based, closed, or based on recall.

When discussion techniques are paired with high level questioning, deeper and increased learning takes place. Discussion techniques include wait- time, redirecting, probing, and responding. There is higher student achievement when teachers open up time for students to think through the posed question. According to Lemov (2010), the average
wait time is about a second or less. The author’s research reveals that lack of wait time does not set our students up for superior learning. Increasing wait time leads to higher quality student responses and increased student participation. If a student answers a question, I will redirect the student’s question to another student in the class. For example, I might say, “Mary, how would you answer Tin’s question?”. When a student answers a question, whether correct or incorrect, I might say, “Arden, do you agree or disagree with Heather’s response? Why? Or would you like to add on?”.   Redirecting encourages student- to- student discourse, discussion, and independence. Probing a student’s surface level response encourages the student to greater critical thinking and analysis. A teacher can probe a student’s response by evaluating the given response and asking a questions in return.



Lemov, Doug. Teach like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

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