Questioning Techniques in the Classroom

As you plan to go back to school, one important item on your checklist might be to improve the quality of your questioning techniques during lessons. Questioning techniques have been researched heavily. In fact, Marzano says that questioning is one of the nine techniques that can increase student achievement. (Classroom Instruction That Works, Marzano et al. 2001)

Let’s face it. We’re busy teachers. Do we really have the time to plan our questioning techniques each and every week for every lesson? You can make your planning life simpler by planning your questions once a year. Yes, that’s right, once a year.

Try this: Make a list of questions according to genre. Then, when you teach fiction, use your fiction questions. If you’re teaching biographies, go to your biography questions. You will always be prepared; you will always have rich classroom discussions; kids will be more engaged; and your questions will help kids understand the objectives better. 

Keep your questions on a list that you keep in your classroom at all times. I color code my list of questions according to genre. I keep a copy in all the instructional areas in my classroom: at the front of the room where we gather on the carpet, at my guided reading table, and on the cart where I keep my Elmo. That way, the questions are always handy. For those districts that require that questions be typed in the lesson plans, just pull out your list of questions by genre and copy a few meaningful questions from your list.

I have lists of the questions I have collected over the years in my store. Fiction are here.  Informational are here.

Check back Wednesday to see how I extend use of questioning strategies into student learning stations.

Fiction and Poetry
Informational Text

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