Often the power of our teaching comes not from what we tell our students, but instead, from what we ask. The simple act of asking strong questions and providing the wait time students need to process, can increase the power of a learning experience significantly.
We throw around terms like “open-ended questions” and “higher-order thinking” but all too often the questions we ask of our students don’t go deep enough and don’t require them to back up their answers with evidence-based thinking, as called for in the common core.
In a post on Edutopia, Rebecca Alber provides 5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students.
- What are you thinking?
- What made you think that?
- How do you know this?
- Can you tell me more?
- What other questions do you have?
I love these questions! They’re simple yet powerful. They’ll work in any content area. And best of all, they position you as a teacher who really values what your students have to say?
Try them out. And remember to pair the question with an opportunity for students to turn-and-talk in partnerships, to provide maximum opportunity for every student to verbalize his/her thinking.
Keep them thinking! Keep them talking! Keep it simple!
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