Questions are the most valuable tool students possess to learn more and retain it longer. The negative result of helping them overcome their fear of asking questions is they often ask the same questions their classmates just asked.
- Students only want the answers to their own questions, so they don’t listen to their classmates’ questions.
- They don’t understand the value of their classmates’ questions.
- They don’t know how to ask effective questions. Saying, “I don’t get number 7” doesn’t provide enough guidance for the teacher.
SOLUTION FOR TEACHERS:
- Communicate your embracing of questions. Your students’ questions will automatically differentiate your instruction and meet the needs of your students.
- Share the importance of other’s questions. They may ask questions the others never thought about asking until they got home and struggled with their homework.
- Teach your students how to listen. They need to sit tall, move to the edge of the chair, feet flat on the floor, and silently repeat the question as it is asked.
- Stop the entire class each time a question is asked. Instruct students to take out scratch paper and see if they can answer their classmates’ questions.
- Ask if there are any further questions regarding the same question. Help students rephrase the question to give you more clarity about what is confusing.
- Ask the class their thoughts about the answer to the question. Many views will be shared that will provide more insights into what the students need in order to gain more from your instruction.
DO YOU WANT FULL ENGAGEMENT, TO COVER MORE MATERIAL FASTER, AND HELP STUDENTS RETAIN MORE?
Allow students to look at their homework before any instruction is provided. Have them look at the work as if they are going to do it right away. Have them form questions about each problem that is unclear. This will prepare their brains for the instructions that will result as questions are answered. There is an art to doing this. For more details get Questioning; An Essential Skill for the 21st Century Student.
Help your children understand that teachers are not mind readers and will rely on their questions. Encourage them to listen to classmates’ questions. Using Questioning; An Essential Skill for the 21st Century Student, share how to ask questions so they can get their teachers to be easier to understand.