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Questioning/ Probing

Building the Ultimate Lesson: Part 1

Chris Edwards

on 17 January 2018

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Transcript of Questioning/ Probing

Prompts for Students
Practical Applications
"Students demonstrate a thirst for learning"
Probing Questions
That’s interesting, what makes you say that?
Part 1:
Questioning/ Probing
The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Sustaining probing dialogue with any number of students that engages them all is the hallmark of a great teacher…. it’s where we should begin.
Probing Questions
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein
Sustaining probing dialogue with any number of students that engages them all is the hallmark of a great teacher…. it’s where we should begin.
Does anyone disagree? What would you say instead? Why is that different?
That’s true, but why do you think that is?
Can you give an example of where that happens?
What is the evidence that supports that suggestion?
So what happens if we made it bigger or smaller?
Can you explain how you worked that out?
What would be the opposite of that?
Is there a different way to say the same thing?
TV Quiz Style Questioning
"What happened next?"
e.g. In P.E. show a video of the perfect High Jump technique and pause it at the "take off" stage. Ask students to describe the next stage, with reference to levels.
Reward students for unique answers.
e.g. Ask students for a creative adjective to describe the character of Eric Birling in "An Inspector Calls"
Spot the lie!
e.g. Give each student a famous historical figure to research. Ask them to write three statements about that person, two true and one false. Classmates must guess the incorrect statement.
If this is the answer.....
What is the question??
e.g. Chlorophyll
G&T Students vs the rest of the class
e.g. Put students into groups of 3/4, including one G&T student. Ask questions to the class and the individual student must compete against his/ her fellow team members.
A hinge-point question is a question a teacher poses about half way through a lesson to find out which students have got a critical concept and which haven’t. All subsequent teaching hinges on whether or not students can answer the question.
Too often teachers plough on regardless to meet the demands of their brilliant lesson plan, when all the formative assessment shouts at them (sometimes literally!) to move in another direction. We should not be frightened by going back steps to consolidate the learning
e.g. Which fraction is the smallest?
1/6, 1/3, 2/3 or 1/2 (success rate: 88%)
Which fraction is the largest?
4/5, 3/4, 5/8 or 7/10 (success rate: 39%)
Objective Questioning
By asking a big question you can initiate thinking and group discussion that immediately engages students in their prospective learning.
By framing it as a question, it can raise motivation, as students feel like they have an invested choice in their learning.
Q1. Get your students to clarify their thinking, for instance: “Why do you say that?” ….“Could you explain that further?”

Q2. Challenging students about assumptions, for instance: “Is this always the case? Why do you think that this assumption holds here?”
Q3. Evidence as a basis for argument, questions such as: “Why do you say that?” or “Is there reason to doubt this evidence?”
Q4. Viewpoints and perspectives, this challenges the students to investigate other ways of looking at the same issue, for example: “What is the counter argument for…?” or Can/did anyone see this another way?”
Q5. Implications and consequences, given that actions have consequences, this is an area ripe for questioning, for instance: “But if that happened, what else would result?” or “How does… affect ….?” By investigating this, students may analyse more carefully before jumping to an opinion
Q6. Question the question, just when students think they have a valid answer this is where you can tip them back into the pit: “Why do you think I asked that question?” or “Why was that question important?”
"Just one more question....."
Foster the culture of enquiry by asking students to generate questions about your topic from the start of the lesson. As these questions are answered, as a form of extension, ask students to add an additional question.....
The Question Wall
Get students into the habit of writing questions down for you to address at a convenient time.
Try getting them to post them on a wall, either using post-it notes or board markers.
If you divide the board into areas, based on the length of answer required, you can easily assess which questions you will be able to deal with in the given time.
Question Monitors
This technique constructively involves students in the evaluation and reflection of the questioning process
Students can be rewarded for generating probing questions and the system enables you to assess how well developed your culture of curiosity is.
Fertile Question: "Why did the same generation that called the First World War the 'War to end all Wars' initiate the Second World War within two decades?"
Why are you here?
How can you use different forms of questioning to improve learning in your lessons?
When did you last ask a question to your class that you didn't know the answer to?
Imagine you are the Secretary of State for Education for a day. What three policies would you bring in?
Short task:
Use the 5 minute question plan or the lesson plan template to plan how you will embed questioning into a lesson on one of your chosen topics.
Tell us when you will be doing it for filming!
Which other quiz shows/ board games could be used in the classroom environment?
Discuss your idea with a partner.
Join another pair to discuss. What resources would you need?
Full transcript