Classroom Questioning

Mistakes teachers use when asking questions in the classroom:

  1. Teachers often pose questions that require only recall rather than deep thought, which doesn’t encourage discussion and further learning within the classroom.
  2. For the sake of time and covering all of the required standards, teachers will oftentimes answer their own question instead of letting the students take the time needed to answer.


  1. During class time, ask the students questions that not only show that they understand the basic recall aspect of the material, but also shows that they are thinking on a more critical, analytical level. By doing so, more questions will naturally emerge and will force the students to question or elaborate on their own opinions on the question asked. An example given by the article is instead of asking, “What is a renewable resource?” ask “How would you convince a friend that it’s important to new if a resource is renewable or not?”
  2. Give students at least 3 to 5 seconds of wait, or “think” time, to answer the question, and fight the initial reaction to shy away from silence for fear of wasting time or feeling uncomfortable. Let the students know that this is what they are expected to do so that everyone is on the same page. These extra seconds will not make a difference in content covered in the long run, but will prove extremely beneficial for the level of understanding going on in the classroom.


Memory:  What is figurative language? What is a hyperbole?

Convergence: How do the comparisons made through similes differ, or change the overall meaning of the text, from metaphors?

Divergent: Suppose you had to create a metaphor for friendships. What would this metaphor be and why?/ How might the reader benefit from the author’s use of figurative language versus literal language?

Evaluative: Is figurative language a useful tool for authors to elicit meaning within the text?


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