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Questioning Techniques

Academy of Singapore Teachers - AED NLC

Clive Colleemallay

on 1 March 2016

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Transcript of Questioning Techniques

AED deployment at Teck Whye Secondary School
Change the way you see things,
and the things you see will change.

Wayne Dyer

Why the AED journey?
Effective Partnership

Assist individual students in classroom activities, supplementary work, bridging gaps

Reinforce learning in small groups/individuals while teacher works with other students

Assist teacher in observing, recording and managing behaviours

NA-NT Math Workshop

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Learning through my Network, Growing with my Community
Questioning Techniques
@ Springfield Secondary School
Partnering teachers
Introduction of Facilitators:

Mdm Mary Katru
ST (Mathematics)
Teck Whye Secondary School

Mr Clive Colleemallay
AED (Aesthetics / Drama Education)
St Hilda's Secondary School

Mr Sharizal Bin Sulaiman
AED (Computer Applications)
Springfield Secondary School
Networked Learning Community
The change starts with "
Making a difference
My deployment at St Hilda's Secondary School

Wanting to





Put yourself in the shoes of the man in the suit. How would you have reacted?

What made him react differently, and how do you explain his reaction?
Group discussion
Carol Dweck's 4-step approach:

1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset voice;

2. Recognise that you have a choice;

3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice;

4. Take the growth mindset approach.
Fixed v/s Growth Mindset
Good questions help students learn;

All students can respond to all questions;

All students' answers deserve respect;

There may be more than one (right) answer;

Students' answer v/s Teacher's desired answer.
Engaging ALL students in answering questions
First, open yourself to authentic interest in whatever students may have to say;

Believe that regardless of the correctness of an answer, learning can follow;

Provide time for everyone to feel involved and keep eye contact with everyone, not just the few who always have the "best" answers... the "teacher's" answers!
Demonstrating genuine interest in students' answers
Ask clear, focused and purposeful questions;

Ask questions at all cognitive level;

Make use of 'wait time';

Give each student an equal chance to answer;

Invite and allow time for students' questions;

During interaction, accept a variety of response formats;

Help students answer correctly - rephrase, prompt and cue when needed.

Quality questioning
Best Practice
Current Practice
After calling on a student, the teacher waits less than 2 seconds for the student to begin answering and then quickly call on another.
Why do we ask questions?

Whom do we ask questions to?

Whom do we expect answers from?
Round table discussion
Wait Time
1. Listen to the question

2. Think about the question

3. Think about the answer

Quality Questioning:
Researched-Based Practice to Engage Every Learner",
Jackie Acree Walsh & Beth Dankert Sattes, Corwin Press, U.K, 2005

Thinking Through Quality Questioning
: Deepening Student Engagement",
Jackie Acree Walsh & Beth Dankert Sattes, Corwin Press, U.K, 2011

Making Thinking Visible:
How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners",
Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church & Karin Morrison, A Wiley Imprint, U.S.A, 2011
Preparation of instructional materials

Assist in conducting Character Education programmes

Assist in CCA programmes

Accompany students on trips, visits and out of classroom activities.

Before the main teacher starts the lesson
Focus solely on discipline
Set high expectations for conduct & behaviour
Clearly describe, demonstrate expectations and procedures
Remind students of the consequences of misbehaviour

When students are starting NOT to get on task
Prevent targeting individual students instead
Stop the whole class, remind them of the consequences, give a last warning
If it occurs again, say that you will carry out the consequence

Questioning Techniques
Ask “what did you do?”, “why did you do it?”, “because of your actions, what do other people feel and do?”, “why do you think you are being punished?”
never give them the answer immediately
give them as long as needed for them to process and reflect

Before the main teacher starts the lesson
Focus on students emotional needs
Talk to the students, ask “how are you? How was your day? Where do you stay? How many siblings do you have? etc”
Talk to students about current events, or anything that has nothing to do with school work

When students are starting NOT to get on task
Take the disruptive students out of class
Address to their emotional state
Get them to reflect

Questioning Techniques
Ask “what happened?”, “why do you think that happened?”, “what could you have done that could have prevented that?”
Let the student be aware that you are trying to understand what happened and remain neutral. This would also show them that they could consider other people's perspective

Complimenting Teaching Styles
The world already has plenty of discouragers,
choose to be an encourager.
Our words have the power to hurt or to heal
Act as if what you do makes a difference . . . IT DOES!

William James
Lee Chuan Jie, Northlight Sch, 21 July 2008 &
Mrs Chua Yen Ching, Executive Director, AST

How do we move?

We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.

John Dewey

Continue the Networking!
2 NLCs per year
Join your AED NLC group on OPAL to share your experience and resources with one another.


Keep yourselves updated of and benefit from the latest professional learning opportunities at:


It is not happy people who are thankful.
It is thankful people who are happy.
Introduction of participants
Getting to know you...


Choose a poster and share how it helps you make meaning of the work you do as an AED

What we tend to do
We usually ask most of the questions

We give little, if any, wait time for students to think

After a student gives an answer, we usually continue with the lesson without commenting on the quality of the answer or the student's participation
What we should do
Encourage and support student-to-student interactions

Actively listen and be opened to students

Create a learning environment where students feel safe to take risks, to make mistakes and to learn from them
'Teacher feedback' provides direction for student learning
When to use
Type of feedback
Confirms the correctness of the student's answer
When the student offers a complete & correct answer
Communicate that the answer is incorrect or incomplete
When the student continues to be incorrect after the teacher prompts
Inform the student that the answer is not acceptable
When eliciting known facts, that are "straightforward", from the student
Affirm effort
Only for student's effort that is evident, and when the quality of the answer is commendable
Rejects student's answer in a negative, sarcastic and critical manner
Provides no comment following a student's answer
Full transcript