Asking Questions
EDUC 4454 – Class 9
P/J Methods
Bell Work:
Using one of your lesson plans and a review of the next 2
slides, examine any of the scripted key questions in the
instruction, consolidation or application stages and categorize
them using Bloom’s Taxonomy. Try to add 2 more questions
from any 1 of the 3 higher order thinking areas -analysis,
synthesis, evaluation .
Select the
Cognitive Level
Review: Bloom’s Taxonomy
 Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Expectations &
Questions for Quality Thinking
Judging the value, materials and methods; Applying
standards and criteria
Putting together parts to form a whole
Breaking it down into elements
Using in new situations
Understanding the material itself
Recall of specifics
Original Terms
New Terms
 Evaluation
 Synthesis
 Analysis
 Application
 Comprehension
 Knowledge
Review: Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
The Question Matrix
Q Matrix
P/J Methods
EDUC 4454
Q Matrix
a user-friendly adaptation of Bloom’s
 allows you to construct questions based on
the word pairs within a matrix
 arranged in a hierarchy that considers
Bloom’s Taxonomy
Q Matrix
To use Q-Matrix:
1. Identify the level of thinking you wish your
question to elicit and select word pairs to match
your instructional focus
“knowledge” word pairs – upper left
portion of matrix
“evaluation” word pairs – lower right
As you move in any direction from the
“What is?” – you are moving toward
questions which require more in-depth
Q Matrix
2. Choose any word pair
– use this word pair as the first two words in
your question followed by the appropriate
Example: Which might?
Which might be the best way
to solve this problem?
-Or embedded words i.e., “Of all the
solutions we’ve discussed, which do you do
feel might provide the best solution to this
Q Matrix
3. The horizontal items represent the subject
of the question (event, situation, choice,
person, reason, means)
4. The vertical items represent the process
(present, past, possibility, probability,
prediction, imagination)
Q Matrix
“A” Asks for facts
“B” Asks for
“C” Asks for predictions
and possibilities
“D” Asks for speculations,
probabilities and
Q Matrix
- In groups of 3-4 appoint 1 person to choose & read a book
- Each member to choose 4 question prompts from question
box and create 4 questions for book based on prompts
Pose each question to group & determine level of question
based on Bloom’s Taxonomy( i.e. knowledge,
comprehension, application ETC.)
- Each member to determine 1 application using the Bloom’s
Taxonomy Wheel – Matching the Process to the Product
(Handout from Class 8) and working through from content
(of the book) to the “can do’ verbs to the product. Explain
what level of thinking/response this reflects.
Think / Pair / Share
 Why do we use
 What is a good
 How do we develop
questioning skills?
 Why is it necessary to
write effective questions
before the lesson is
Questioning: 2 main types
 Everyday Questions
 questions
that are asked without
 usually require a yes/no answer or a
one word answer
 usually don’t require much thought
Questioning: 2 Main Types
 Educative Questions
 questions
that are planned in
 usually at a higher level of thinking
 purposeful
 clearly focused
 carefully conceived
 well formulated
Questioning:2 main categories
 Convergent Questions
 narrow, factual, closed
 one right answer
 short responses
 lower level thinking
 simple recall of information
“Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?”
Questioning: 2 main categories
 Divergent Questions
 broad,
 many right responses
 seldom answered with a single word
 require students to use higher level
“Why is the world a better place because
of computers?”
Characteristics of a good question
A good question is a demonstration of genuine curiosity.
A good question has logic, related in some way to the teacher’s focus and the
student’s experience.
In a good question the words are ordered in such a way that the thinking is
clarified, both for the students and the teacher.
In a good question the intent must be supported by intonation and non-verbal
signals. The pace of the question should match the intent.
A good question challenges existing thinking and reflection.
A good question is seen as part of an ongoing dialogue which involves
relationships between the speakers.
A good question can challenge and surprise but it should not be seen as a means
/by which to diminish others.
A good question maintains student engagement, stimulates thoughts and evokes
Effective Teacher Questions:
An Educative Question is purposeful, clearly focused,
carefully conceived, pre-planned, and well formulated.
Often try to make it a pivotal question, a question
which will make the students think.
Questions should be thought out & written ahead of
time and thus be part of good planning & does not
simply come off the top of your head
Questioning: Steps
Stage One: Prepare the Question
1. Identify instructional purpose
2. Determine content focus
3. Make sure they match your lesson
4. Select the cognitive level (Bloom’s
5. Consider wording and syntax
Stage Two: Present the Question
Indicate response format
Ask the question
Select respondent
Which techniques are more effective?
Stage Three: Prompt Student Responses
Pause after asking question (Wait time 1)
Assist non-respondent
Pause following student response
(Wait time 2)
How to get students to participate?
Teacher Questions:
Tips when implementing:
 Make sure your questions are not double-barrelled –
you are not asking more than one question at a time.
 Make sure your questions are not wishy-washy – the
meaning needs to be clear, specific and precise
 Make sure they are well-worded
 Avoid questions with “yes/no” or 1 word answers
 Use a signal for “mass/whole class” responses
 Don’t only attend to the Action Zone
 Ask the question; pause; then call on a student
 Use three to five (3-5) second Wait Time
Wait Time
Builds trust in the student/teacher relationship.
Gives time for student to look at the question from many angles
Frees them to provide answers of substance
Provides time to rehearse answers if you use “heads together/elbow partner”
Encourages them to organize their thinking
 Wait time should result in:
longer student answers
more students volunteering answers
more questions being asked by students
generally an increase in two way communication in the
more interesting discussion
Two Types – One and Two
 Wait Time One: Teacher waits to have a student respond to allow them to
process the information / question given (3-5 seconds)
 Wait Time Two: Teacher waits to respond to a student answer to allow them
time to elaborate and extend (3-5 seconds)
on how you will respond to the student answer: Praise/Acceptance/Probes
 Follow student responses / answers (and wait time)
 Are based on the learner’s actual response and are designed to have
the student go beyond the initial information or response given.
WHY? Help a student elaborate on their answer
Try to get students to tell you why
Help you understand where the student is coming from
Can use with a right or wrong answer
 You can probe right answers, wrong answers, non answers,
comments, questions, but you should not probe every student
Types of Probes:
Redirect Probes
Critical Awareness Probes
Clarification Probes
Refocus Probes
Prediction Probes
Reflective Practice  Page # 210 in CT & M
 At your table discuss the quote at the bottom
of the page using the following questions:
 How might a teacher identify such a
question? – i.e. Question answered correctly
but not the one posed
 How could this be explained to other
 This statement (quote) may seem to be a
contradiction. Why might it be important to
address this issue?
Activity: Correcting Questions
 With a partner or individually, correct
each of the questions.
Remember to consider the characteristics
of good questions, Bloom’s Taxonomy
and the Tips for Impelementing
Can anyone tell me where the bridge was built?
Jim, how much would you pay for both?
Where did Riel fight his last battle? He was
certainly a hero. Where was it, Tom?
Are the winters warm in British Columbia?
The bee is certainly a very industrious worker,
isn’t he?
Who is Stalin and why was he important
during World War II?
What about the current crisis in our monetary
The principal tourist attractions in Northern
Ontario are what?
What do you notice about the beaver and otter?
10. Does anyone know the answer to this
PJ Methods
EDUC 4454
Communicating authentically requires:
a sensitivity to the world of others
an ability to empathize… to understand what it is
like to be the other person
The climate for learning is set by the teacher:
Who? What? When? With Whom?
Facilitates involvement
Stimulates interest
Demonstrates/models caring
Special components of interpersonal
skills which facilitate effective learning:
Respect (Warmth)
To help develop interpersonal
communication skills:
Verbal/Non-verbal Congruence
 Personal Communication Style
 Passive
 Aggressive
 Assertive/Congruent
Ways to enhance congruence:
1. Look at your ways of interacting.
2. Develop Active Listening Skills:
 be fully and accurately involved with what is
being said and felt both verbally and nonverbally
 show a genuine concern for what the
speaker is feeling as well as … is saying.
3. Be aware of your own feelings, prejudices and
expectations about the speaker
(Ask yourself: Can I accept the feelings and
attitudes of the speaker even if they are
different than my own?)
Build on your unique strengths.
Nonverbal Communication
Studies show that during interpersonal
7% of the message is verbally communicated
93% of the message is nonverbally transmitted
through tone of voice, body language, emotions
of the sender/receiver, other connections…
friends /enemies/ professionals)
What you say is not nearly as important as how
you say it.
Actions speak louder than words.
 Non-verbal communication is communication
without words.
 Non-verbal communication can be viewed as
occurring whenever an individual
communicates without the use of sounds.
 Non-verbal communication is anything
someone does to which someone else
assigns meaning.
 Non-verbal communication is the study of
facial expressions, touch, time, gestures,
smell, eye behaviour, and so on.
Nonverbal messages are an essential
component of communication in the classroom.
a. eye contact signals interest in others
b. smile indicates warmth, friendliness
c. gestures…nods
d. posture and body orientation
e. proximity dictated by cultural norms
f. vocal element: tone/inflection/loudness
A matrix of verbal versus non-verbal
Behaviours (eg. The
rate, loudness, softness
of speech etc.)
Behaviours (e.g. Body
(e.g. American Sign language, use of space
 Body language: posture, head movement,
facial expressions, eye behavior, gestures,
handshaking, arm movement, leg movement
 Paralanguage: sound, pitch, tempo of
speech, turn-taking, silence
 Object language: clothing, personal artifacts,
hair, etc.
 Environmental language: time language,
spatial language, colour, light, signs and
symbols, architecture, etc.
 Complementing (e.g. “Attention please” )
 Contradicting (When there are contradictions, do people tend
to believe the verbal messages or nonverbal ones?)
 Repeating
 Regulating (e.g. A head nod to indicate that it is
his/her turn the speak)
 Substituting(e.g. A noisy cafeteria might get you to
wave at a friend instead of screaming to get his/her
 Accenting(e.g. A well-skilled public speaker might
pause before or after an important point in a speech.)
Aspects of non-verbal communication
• Posture
• Eye contact
• Use of silence
More than words – Case Study
 A teacher can’t get his students’ attention and
his volume starts to rise. He glares at them
and tells them to do some work on the board.
Some do; most don’t. His volume increases
again: “Don’t look at me; look at the board.”
Some students squirm; most still look at their
teacher. While telling the students to look at
the board, the teacher’s non-verbal message,
conveyed by his eyes, is to look at him. No
one is going to look away from a teacher in
this situation. Discuss at your table how the
teacher has sent a mixed message.
Use More Than Your Words
Use More Than Your Words - Professionally Speaking March 2008
 Adapted from L. Miller in Professionally Speaking (March 2008)
The magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers see link above
 Getting Attention – lower the class
metabolism by pausing and whispering, don’t
try to talk over the students.
 All teachers have a range of voices (e.g. the
credible voice has little modulation).
 Keep head, body, face, arms, and hands still
when using the credible voice.
 Actions, voice tone, words, sending the same
When to use voice?
 Use the credible voice when giving instructions,
delivering teacher-directed lessons and covering
instructions. Use it when you want to hold
students’ attention.
 The approachable voice is the opposite of the
credible and uses much modulation. The voice
has rhythmic, even melodic tones. The head
moves up and down, arms and hands move and
are open.
 The approachable voice invites discussion,
encourages participation and makes students
feel warm and welcome.
When to use voice continued…
 Try both voices yourself and hear the difference
in this sentence:
“Boys and girls, I’d like your attention now please.”
 It’s time to begin your first lesson of the day. You
listen to the volume, wait for a lull and speak 2
levels above it: “Class, please look in this
 Ensure everyone’s attention and then drop your
volume and begin.
 If you’re using the credible voice, make sure your
body language is credible too.
Non-verbal teacher tips…
 Reinforce your message when asking
students to look at the board by looking there
as well.
 Stand in the same spot when you want the
students’ attention. “This lets the visuals see
you and the auditories hear you.” Regularly
using this technique trains the students that
this is the time for them to be attentive.
 After a while, when you stand in that spot,
you will have their attention, without having to
say a word.
Tips continued…
 If your body language and emphasis match
your words, you are more likely to connect
with all your students and your message will
have more impact.
 When teachers give students 3 or more
seconds of wait time, the outcomes include
longer and more correct responses, fewer Idon’t-knows and more volunteered answers.
 Show don’t say, “Class you have this many
minutes to complete this activity.” Don’t say
the number, hold up two fingers.
Tips continued…
 “Class turn to this page please.” Write 27 on
the board, point to it and look at it for a few
seconds and don’t say the number.
 Teach students your gestures so the students
will know what it means when you hold up a
stop hand or when you fan your hands to
show open your books. Gestures save your
 Save eye contact for positive interactions,
positive relationships.
More tips…
 Give students thinking time before a class
discussion. “Boys and girls, I want you to
think about this question before we talk about
it. Write it down in your notebooks. Think
about it for 20 seconds.”
 Get everyone’s attention before starting your
lesson (e.g. raising hand as quiet signal).
 Begin each class by telling the students what
will happen and what they will do.
 Don’t stay at your desk. Circulate and monitor
progress as students work.
Body Language
 If you want the students to be still, be still yourself.
A still body helps deliver the content.
 Example:
Using the credible voice, walk and talk: “Boys and
girls, today we are going to talk about a very
important year in Canadian history: 1867. The year
Canada became an independent country.”
Now say it again but pause and “freeze” your body
before you say 1867. The words may be the same
but the impact is significant. You’ll have even more
impact if you hold the pause for a few seconds.
Putting It All Together
Creating a climate that facilitates learning
demands good verbal and nonverbal skills.
Model Good Listening Skills
Be interested and attentive, ask about
students ideas and opinions
Encourage talking, ask students to
describe/explain to extend the
Listen patiently
Hear children out
Listen to nonverbal messages
Teach students what good listeners do!
 look at the speaker while he/she is speaking
 does not interrupt
 provide appropriate feedback with a nod or a
point of clarification
 ask pertinent questions about what is being
 does not doodle or engage in other
distracting mannerisms
 Assigned Readings:
Read pp. 208-209 in CT & M
Class 9_Handout_Nonverbal_Communication
pp. 346-347 in CT & M for next class on
Graphic Organizers & Mind Mapping.
Multiple Intelligences – p. 26
Learning styles – p. 316
 Assignment :
# 3 – Lesson Plan #2 Due – Fri. Oct. 31

Class 6 - Nipissing University