7 Basic Questioning Tools

 Notes from session hosted by John Sullivan

 – use singly or in combination

1. Cold-call replaces “hands up who can tell me” as default mode. Keeps everyone on their toes – reduces risk of passengers and avoids domination by a few.

How to do it: say “no hands”, then Pose – Pause – Pounce.

Ideal for: most questioning episodes

Requires you to: personalise and deliberately target students to draw them in

Resources: often none, though some like lollipop sticks (see Dylan William)

2. Bundles of questions to pairs.

How to do it: rather than firing a sequence of closed questions to the whole class and hearing answers from individuals, give a bundle of questions to pairs and some time to answer them.

Ideal for: recap or quick knowledge check

Requires you to: plan ahead, monitor robustly

Resources: mini-whiteboards are ideal but not vital

3. Pair – Share and variations as default mode. A great default for almost all questioning episodes.

How to do it: rather than firing questions to individuals, give students time to think and talk it through before asking for answers.

Ideal for: getting everyone involved – can be used for most questions. Lots of variations and combinations

Requires you to: monitor robustly and target least-likely-tos

Resources: often none

Some variations:

  • Pair-Share (“30 seconds, with the person next to you, get an answer”) – quick and easy
  • Think-Pair-Share. Allows individual reflection for more complex or challenging questions
    • Think-Pair-Think. Great for complex ideas that need deeper thinking. With the right question and the right class you can keep going with this for a while.
    • Think-Pair-Write. Gets students to reflect (as in Think-Pair-Think) then log their thoughts individually. You can add some extra Pair talk after writing, ad infinitum. Superb for revision lessons or preparing for writing.
    • Think-Pair-Move. Similar to snowballing. Students move and share with a new partner after sharing with their first one. Again, this can continue for as long as it seems to be developing thinking.
    • Think-Deepen-Share. Student A gives his view, then, regardless of her own views, student B has to help A develop his thinking by asking questions such as: “How do you know? What evidence have you got for this? How does this link to….?” etc. Use CRAVE Q to support this
    • Think-Challenge-Share. Student A gives her view, then, regardless of his own views, student B has to challenge A by occupying an opposing viewpoint. “I disagree because….I don’t think you’ve considered….What about….? “ Use CRAVE Q to support this.

4. Two-step questions that ask for justification.

How to do it: rather than saving the reasons for follow-up, ask what and why at the same time. You could try “every answer has ‘because’ in the middle”.

Good for: pushing for understanding as well as knowledge

You need to: anticipate your follow-up and build it in

Resources: none, though whiteboards can help

5. Badger or Bounce.

How to do it: don’t take the first plate. Get students to develop their own or each other’s answers. Badger one student to extend their answer, or bounce it to another student: “tell me more…go deeper…what can you add…?” This works best if you don’t comment on their answers – let them do the work.

Try Pose-Pause-Pounce-Bounce.  If answers are detailed, you may need to Summarise and Bounce: “so, Jack’s saying Macbeth was ambitious. Tell me more, Maxine…”

Good for: flushing out current knowledge, extending thinking, exploring ideas, co-constructing learning

You need to: listen very carefully, exercise careful judgements, target key students

Resources: none

6. ACE the question (aka SDC). A simple AFL strategy that forces all students to engage and get an opinion while giving you vital feedback.

How to do it: in response to an answer or statement, students hold up one finger to Agree, two to Challenge, three to Extend. You then cold-call students you want to hear from.

Good for: harvesting opinions, open or closed questions, quick hinge checks, working out who to ask next

You need to: listen carefully

Resources: none

7. Total Physical Response (TPR). Gets students on their feet, sharing and justifying opinions.

How to do it: Allocate different opinions to different sides of the room. Students move to the place that corresponds with their opinion, share ideas with the like-minded students near them, then meet someone who holds an opposite view in the middle of the room to justify. You then cold-call pairs or individuals to hear their arguments. You can push for synthesis too: “with the person who holds the opposite view, rehearse a paragraph that begins – ‘one hand, it could be argued that….’

Good for: harvesting opinions, exploring issues, justifying, practising synthesis

You need to: listen carefully

Resources: none

Our very own TEACH MEET on 21st May 2013

I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for all the  excellent contributions last night.

Our Teach Meet  was really good fun and informative, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It was great to feel that real buzz in the hall and the after chat (party) focused on teaching and learning.

All the resources and presentations will be posted on this blog… Prezzi  seems a real hit , these presentations are quite easy if you follow one of the templates. You can also upload an existing powerpoint  into Prezzi. Have a look… http://prezi.com/

Paula was a little scary with her flying ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ and the wonders of Twitter are now to behold. It felt very together, a real team effort.

Click below for programme http://prezi.com/ghihcugchcdl/rvhs-teachmeet-inset-21-may-2013/

Together we will be outstanding ……..

Sharon J

Pose Pause Pounce Bounce

Resources from tonights T&L  meeting  (NQT session )
What is it?
PPPB (Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce) is a simple, yet sophisticated, AfL (Assessment for Learning) questioning technique to help teachers move from good-to-outstanding. It also helps address differentiation in the classroom and encourages teachers to slow down, take risks and tease out understanding…
Session led S Jenner

Acid Tankers Levelled Differentiated Task Example

Acid Tankers Levelled task

This is a differentiated task Vic and Nim designed in science.

How to ensure progress for all (challenge/flow/independent learning)
Ensure progress for all by checking their understanding on their individual tasks and either increasing teacher input or directing them to resources (page numbers present on their task sheet) in order to move them on.
Flow will be managed by regular questioning of progress and questioning as to how much longer they will spend on each task.
Independent learning will be achieved through the students working on the tasks set on their “Acid Tankers” levelled task sheet to help them achieve progression

How to ensure progress of LA (challenge/flow/independent learning)
The lower ability students in the class will achieve at least level 3/4 through the manner in which tasks are broken down for them (main task success criteria ladder). LA students will work with HA students to improve their answers. HA will model good answers. I will also help them to model good answers.

How to ensure progress of HA (challenge/flow/independent learning)
I believe that there are some higher ability students within the class (past class work). I have therefore set higher order questions on the main task (success criteria) to help enable these students to make progress. These students will also take reasonability in co-coordinating their groups and present findings near the end of the lesson (presentations)

Vick and Nim

Click here to download the document above.

Differentiation in the Classroom by Dee Sexton

Differentiation is a term that is familiar to us all. However, really understanding the term, and effectively putting it into practice, can be one of the greatest challenges. There are various definitions for differentiation but to summarise: ‘differentiation’ is the process by which differences between pupils are accommodated so that all students have the best possible chance of learning.

There are three categories of differentiation:
 differentiation by task, which involves setting different tasks for pupils of different abilities
 differentiation by support, which means giving more help to certain pupils within the group
 differentiation by outcome, which involves setting open-ended tasks and allowing pupil response at different levels.
Ideally, you should be using all three types of differentiation to accommodate the different learning styles in the classroom.

If in a lesson we rely only on differentiation by outcome this may not be seen as best practice and can mean that some students may only write one sentence. Therefore having a combination of all three is desirable. You can use the data you have at hand to gauge where the pupils are in their learning and to build a profile of the learners in your class. This includes those with SEN, the more able, but also those ‘in the middle’ who are often neglected because they fall into neither category – they quietly get on with their work and participate only when asked.

Take a practical and realistic approach to differentiation. When planning group work, try to plan so that groups can access work at different times in the week, so that the less able cover the work set at the middle group level by Wednesday for example – this saves planning four different types of work for each group, each day. Think of group work using a traffic light system: green for work they can do unaided once explained; amber for work that may require support; and red for work that requires a teacher or LSA ‘scaffold’ it. Then you can plan around the support staff that you have.
differ 2<a
 Try to use all three types of differentiation to accommodate the different learning styles.
 Try not to rely on outcome as a differentiator.
 Be creative with resources and support to ensure you are not spending excess hours planing.
 Think about liaising with colleagues to assess which pupils are in need of differentiation.

Create a listening frame for students who struggle to make notes. This could be a worksheet with a set of sections on it, each one headed by a question, statement or category. The student can then use this to make notes. The sections will help them to order the information they receive. This will eliminate a thinking process for them, thus allowing them to concentrate exclusively on listening and writing. In essence, a listening frame does a bit of the work for the student, making life easier for them.writing frame<

Encourage your students to ask questions. There are many benefits to this, including:
• Students can ask questions at the level with which they are comfortable.
• Students can hear other people’s questions.
• Students can observe how the teacher goes about answering questions.
• The teacher can find out what areas students want to know about.
• Students can find out information from the teacher’s responses.ask question

Discovery Learning is a method of inquiry-based instruction, discovery learning believes that it is best for learners to discover facts and relationships for themselves.’
You can build discovery learning into your lessons through:
• Group work.
• Providing some of the information and letting students work out the rest.
• Setting students independent tasks such as research or a design brief.
• Experiments.
• Investigations.
• Create a space on your classroom wall called the ‘Wonder Wall’. You might like to make this look like a wall by chalking bricks onto black paper.areoplane