Effective Questioning and Reacting
Marilu S. Bandolon
2. Mrs. Maha Al- Harb, Khawla Al Rifa’e, Mrs. Suad Al-shbaily
Children go to school as question
marks and leave school as periods
For a highly interactive class, what are the various
types of questions asked?
What are some questioning skills that teachers should
develop to generate interaction?
How can a teacher improve his/he questioning skills?
What are some effective reacting techniques?
A study was once conducted to find out how teachers
ask questions. This was observed in a Grade 6 science
class. A tape recorder was hidden under a demonstration
table. She conducted a discussion of the lesson for forty
She was able to ask 29 questions, all of which are of
the “what” type. Maybe they were all answered. They were
Has the teacher developed the pupils’ thinking skills?
The kind of questions we ask determine the level of
thinking we develop. Low level questions demands low level
responses. They require responses of the simple recall or
memory type answers.
What was the temperature range yesterday?
What insects transmit dengue fever?
What part of the plant serves as its factory?
We ask questions based on purpose:
1.For assessing cognition
-to determine one’s knowledge in understanding
-promote high level thinking
-use divergent questions and open ended
inquiries that call for analysis and evaluation
What is likely to happen if the ozone layer of the
atmosphere continues to deteriorate?
Why does is sound heard louder when und er water
than out of it?
2. For verification
--to determine the exactness or accuracy of the result
of an activity or performance,
Was the weight of liquid displace exactly the same as
the weight of object immersed in it?
Why is lightning seen before the thunder is heard?
3. For creative thinking
--to probe into one’s originality,
How will you present the layers of the earth to your
Simulate the eruption of Mt. Mayon.
How can you demonstrate soil less gardening?
Notice that the question or the direction asks the pupils to
present their own ideas or new ways of doing things.
4. For evaluating
--to elicit responses that include judgment, value, and
-it also asks personal opinion about an event, a policy
or a person
Was your classmates’ slide presentation well done?
5. For productive thinking
--includes cognitive reasoning
-recognizes patterns or trends
-invokes memory and recall
How can we apply the concept of the least common
multiple in other situaitons?
6. For motivating
-to arouse the interest of students and focus attention
-situating the students in the right mood.
How would you like to know how your favorite flower
can remain fresh longer?
Did you ever train a pet?
Can perpendicular lines be intersecting lines?
7. For instructing
-asking useful information
-directs, guides and advise on what and how to do an
What are the steps in solving problems?
Questions can either be low or high level
Low level questions
-include memory questions or those that require simple
State the first Law of Motion
High level questions
-call for the respondent’s ability to analyze, evaluate,
and solve problems
What is the relation between the distance of a planet
and its period of revolution?
Why does temperature rise toward noontime?
Why is repeated addition the same as multiplication?
-require the respondents to think in different directions
-to think of alternative actions
-arrive at own decision
-to arrive at several possible answers
Why are you voting them?
What will happen if you leave it under direct sunlight
for a week?
Class interaction is dependent on the questioning skills.
What questioning skills should teachers ask in order to
generate maximum interaction among the students?
1. Ask varying types of questions
2. Ask non-directing questions
3. Call in non-volunteers
5. Sequencing logically
6. Requiring abstract thinking
7. Asking open-ended questions
8. Allowing for sufficient wait time
Convergent /closed question:
- They give you facts.
- They are easy and quick to answer.
- They keep control of the conversation with the
Note: They should be used with care – too many closed
questions can cause frustration and shut down conversation.
Asking varying type of questions
Ask convergent, divergent and evaluating questions.
Convergent questions are closed questions that have
only one correct answer.
Convergent questions are mostly closed questions that
can be classified as:
a. Yes/no questions
b. Answerable by a single word or short phrase
(What is the process of food manufacture that takes in
-open questions and may have more than one acceptable
- They ask the student to think and reflect.
- They will give you opinions and feelings.
- They have control of the conversation to the respondent.
-useful in getting another person to speak. ( The one
who asks the questions are likely to receive a long
answer, that’s why they can provide a good deal of I
-Sometimes they are statements : “ tell me about” ,
“ give me an example of”
2. Yes / No Questions
( Closed Questions ) :
Evaluative questions are divergent questions that
require judgment concerning the subject focus.
(What is you evaluation of our manner of election in the country?)
A tag question is an example of an evaluative questions.
It is a statement followed by a mini-question whether it is
positive or negative. The whole sentence is a "tag question",
and the mini-question at the end is called a "question tag".
We use tag questions at the end of statements to ask for
confirmation. They mean something like: "Am I right?" or "Do
you agree?" They are very common in English.
5. Inference Questions:
Inference questions are forms of divergent questions that
require the respondents to give the inferences and assumptions
based in passages read or heard. The main goal of the
questions is to assess the ability of the learners to go beyond
what is on the page. It’s not unusual to face two or more
inference questions in each passage.
Ex. They went out at 6.
They came back at 10
How long did they stay out?
Techniques of asking a question:
1. The Default:
Ask a question
Call on a student
use it as your
2. The Volunteer:
Ask a question
Wait for a raised hand
Ask a question
“ Any body ”
Use for conceptually
and when you need a
Ask a question
“ Every body “
Use for simple but
When a student asks a question:
*Clarify it , if necessary.
* Whenever possible, help the student answer the
* Ask other students to answer the question.
* Defer until later, if possible.
* Answer it yourself, only as a last resort…
* But, never let a student’s question go
When a student says ( I don’t know)
As A General Rule
Don’t Let Them Off The Hook!
What are the characteristics of a good question?
Related to the objectives
effective questioning should :
1. Reinforce and promote the learning objectives.
2. Include “staging” questions to draw pupils towards key
understanding or to increase the level of challenge in a lesson as it
3. Involve all pupils.
4. Engage pupils in thinking for themselves.
5. Promote justification and reasoning.
6. Create an atmosphere of trust where pupil’s opinions and ideas
7. Show connections between previous and new learning.
8. Encourage pupils to speculate and hypothesize.
9. Encourage pupils to ask as well as to “receive” questions.
10. Encourage pupils to listen and respond to each other as well as
to the teacher.
General Strategies For Asking Questions:
1. When planning questions, keep in mind your lesson goals.
2. Avoid asking leading questions.
3. Follow a “ yes” or “ no “ question with an additional question.
4. When you plan each class lesson, include notes of when
you will pause to ask and answer questions.
5. Ask a mix of different types of questions and use keywords
of questioning like: Who, Why, What, Where, When…. .
6. Wait for students to think and formulate responses.
7. Encourage students to ask questions at any time.
8. Scatter questions over the entire class.
9. Pose questions within the ability of the student to whom
the question is addressed.
10. Ask students to give complete answers.
11. Do not permit frequent group responses.
12. Avoid asking questions that can be answered by guessing.
As a summary……
Good questioning is a
major determinant of the
success of teaching.