Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Post #6: Questions

any questions? written on a chalkboard
"What do we need to know about asking questions to be an effective teacher?"
-Dr. Strange
One major thing that I have learned in EDM310, is that in order to get feedback from our future students, we as teachers should ask questions when answering students in a group discussion! By asking questions, the students HAVE to use their thinking skills and put their minds to the test!

Maryellen Weimer, author of the blog post Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, discovered three ways teachers can make improvements when asking their class questions. We as teachers, should prepare questions, play with questions, and preserve good questions. When preparing questions to ask, we should think about if the question(s) is relatable to the subject and if it should be asked, and when is the best time to ask the question(s) during the lesson. However, there are many other points to think about when preparing questions for the classroom. Playing with questions means, leaving the question unanswered for a certain amount of time and using some strategies that encourage students to think about it. On occasion, students will ask extremely good questions, and when they do, KEEP IT! Jot the question down and depending on if you teach high school or middle school, you can ask the next class coming in.

In the article, Asking Questions to Improve Learning many points are made about strategizing when improving questions. However, there was one tool that stood out to me more than any other information in the text, and that was "Bloom's Taxonomy."
The chart above, shows another way to think about when and how to use questions when teaching. Benjamin Bloom (1956) identified six types of cognitive processes and ordered them according to the level of complexity. The idea is to combine questions that require lower-order thinking to assess students’ knowledge and comprehension with questions that require higher-order thinking to assess students’ abilities to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate.

Dr. Joanne Chelsey discusses the difference between open-ended questions and closed-ended questions in her video Asking Better Questions in the Classroom. Dr. Chelsey starts off with pointing out that a closed-ended question is asked for the student and can be answered in one word, such as "yes or no." A closed-ended question may even be answered with a brief phrase. Whereas an open-ended question is left "open" for response. Open-ended questions require more thinking than closed-ended questions.

I have learned so many different ways to make improvements when asking questions as a teacher. They have all been very informative and helpful! I cannot wait to start putting the suggestions to use in my classroom!!


  1. Caitlin,
    Very thorough post this week. You highlighted all the main points for the readers and provided working links for us to go visit the pages.

    There was only one grammatical error that stood out to me: "when preparing questions, we should think about if "it the question that needs to be asked?" or "when is the best time to ask it?"...." Maybe reword it differently.

    Other than that little sentence great post!
    Also, thanks for putting the chart in the post, I liked being able to see it for myself and what you had to say about it without leaving your blog.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Caitlin,

    I like this post! I think you did a good job of addressing the different ways, we as teachers, should think about asking questions.

    I have the same suggestion about rewording that phrase mentioned by Melissa in the previous comment.

    I also like your reference links and Bloom's Taxonomy!

    Stephen Akins

  3. Thank you for your suggestion! I too was stumped on that phrase when I reread it! I revised the phrase and I hope it makes more sense now! Thank you again for your input!

  4. Exceptionally well done. I think you will be a good questioner as a teacher!

    The revision worked.

  5. Caitlin, you did a great job on this post! I cannot wait to start using these suggestions in my classroom. I did not see any revisions needed after you revised it.