Planning effective questions
- Try not to have recall questions like ‘what did we do yesterday?’ It’s much better to simply say what you did yesterday and move on with a complicated question for today
- Rhetorical questions are for dramatic effect and are not helpful
- A leading question is not open ended as it prompts the respondent to answer in a specific way
- ‘Guess what I am thinking’ questions where you already know the answer, don’t help children to think
- Use ‘Why don’t you try…’ questions to supply alternative answers or ideas, rather than give the answer
- Don’t use ‘but…’ in anything you say, as it gives a sense of negativity
- Direct questions to individual children not the whole group, otherwise only certain children will answer and only some may be able to answer
- Ask one question, not a whole series, so you don’t confuse children
- Pause after asking a question as some children take longer to process the information than others The longer you wait the more chance you’ll get an answer
- Correct wrong answers in a friendly and polite way
- Be cautious of closed questions which only require a yes/no answer and inhibits discussion
- Make the learning environment interesting so that children are asking lots of questions
- Really listen to the answer and build on the answer given
- Most important, ask yourself: what do I want children/this child to learn from this question?
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