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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second DYLAN: This week we have deepened our understanding about how we can plan to not only teach but to also be responsive during the learning. A key idea that we have considered is the importance of inference; thinking about why students are giving the responses they do, and planning for this to happen. An approach we have seen our teachers use is questioning, with different ideas for doing this shared. We have also considered how classroom assessments can be facilitated in a convergent way with the teacher in charge and sticking to a predetermined plan, or in a divergent manner where both the teacher and students influence the flow of the teaching.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds We now encourage you to plan and try out some different approaches to your use of questioning this week, making note in particular of what your students’ responses are, why you think they may be saying this and how you respond to them during the lesson. We look forward to reading your comments. Next week we will be looking at ideas for how you can plan to respond during and in between lessons.

Summary: questioning and inferring learning

Dylan pulls the week to a close and talks about what is coming up next week. In this short video Dylan:

  • Encourages you to try out some of the ideas you have seen this week with your students and consider what you can infer from the evidence you are gathering.
  • Highlights that next week we will be exploring in more detail how we can plan to respond to the learning we are evidencing in our classrooms.

The ideas our teachers have exemplified are just a small number of ways that teachers questioning approaches can be planned and used more effectively in the classroom to elicit responses which help us infer ideas about students’ thinking, there are many others. Any of these ideas could be adapted and used to support students of all ages.

Classroom task

Think of a lesson that you are teaching in the next week or so:

  • Plan a question you are going to ask and the appropriate questioning technique you will use.
  • Have a go and report how it went it went in practice.
  • What were you able to infer from students’ responses about their understanding?

Put your ideas in the discussion for feedback in advance of the lesson and then let us know, again via the discussion on this page by replying to yourself, how the lesson went.

Example of Gimme 5 - Primary maths, when learning how to subtract using the column method. Students have to produce 5 different examples of column subtraction that do need exchanging and give the answer 245.

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This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre