What questions do we ask? How do we ask?
Questions play a huge part in a student's learning. It expands their vocabulary, develops critical thinking skills, and challenges their thought processes. As a teacher we are responsible for making sure we help our student develop by challenging them. One way to do that is to ask thought provoking questions in your classroom. I read an article, Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom, and it got me thinking on how I can evolve my questions to better challenge my students.
As a history teacher there will be a plethora of topics my classes can discuss, but it's up to me to help lead and further the discussion. One way is to make sure I ask open-ended questions. If I ask a yes or no answer it will stop right there; I need to make sure I word my questions in a way that leads them to expound with their answer. If I prepare my questions ahead of time that should take care of any unnecessary stumbling across words, which in turn could confuse your students. By continuously asking questions to their answers I hope to bring more students into the discussion. With history being heavily opinionated, I feel there is no reason that I can't keep a discussion brewing for a while.
After reading various different articles I have come up with another way to use questions in my classroom. I will issue a question in class that the students must go home and use Padlet, Google Documents, or another source of my choosing to answer. I'll require there to be statements to back up their answers. This way they learn to use the internet as a resource instead of having me give them all the answers, and by taking it home they have more time to think on the question. The next day i'll discuss the few interesting ones, and if there is a correct answer I will give it and use it to continue to the next lesson. Also, in the same manner, I will use any good questions asked by the students themselves. If a student brings up a good question that has potential for a good discussion I might assign it as bonus points to be turned in via the internet. That way the student will get their answer and my lesson plans won't be thrown off too much. I realize teachers schedules change constantly, but in a history class if I made a discussion of every single question asked, we wouldn't cover all of the material. I will change up the ways in which I handle questions asked in my classroom.