Motivational Brain Bite #7

29 08 2009

Creating a Questioning Climate

brainBefore you ask questions, use these options to create a better climate of success.  Pick the one(s) you’re most comfortable with using:

Assert that there may be multiple answers to your question.

Check in before asking questions to insure learner readiness.

Everyone may get a partner or learning buddy to serve as consultant.         

Give a multiple choice menu with the question.

Ask who is ready and has a possible answer.

Provide more wait time — respect the more kinesthetic learning styles.

Be more selective in calling on participants…only those that know it.

Utilize team and group cooperative responses.

Do a drawing for learner names from a globe or hat.

Tell & show them at start of class all the questions to be asked.

Do Jeopardy turnaround — participants have answer, ask you the questions.

Ask questions when you are really interested in a student=s thoughts.

Practice what you preach by modeling good questioning in your own life.

Ask questions that relate to student’s life experiences and interests.


When the answer was different than expected,

choose any of the following responses that you like:

Prompt them for a better answer…Do the hotter & colder game.

Ask the learner to say more about their answer to clarify what they mean.

Ask for a follow-up comment in 5 minutes…check back then.

Give more non-verbal or verbal clues to coax the learner.

Walk them through the steps of learning or logic to get a better answer.

Say your answer is a good contribution or good effort and move on.

Change the question to make the problem more understandable.

Put the answer on hold and ask if others would like to add or comment.

Change your question to make their answer right.

Give the correct answer indirectly within 20-90 seconds, but only after attention is switched away from learner

Make humor out of the situation…but never, never, never at the learner.

Use a confirmatory phrase such as Aso your answer is…are you sure?

Class rule: all answers are temporary until we validate them.

Have learner find others who agree with his answer & re-contribute.

Re-assign the problem again, change one variable.

When you get the answer you like,

choose any of the following responses that you=re comfortable using:

Repeat it in their words to validate what was said, avoid improving on it.

Ask “Can you tie the answer into what other classmates have said?”

Ask “Can you expand on what was given?” 



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