Notes from Every Minute Counts Part 1May 5, 2005
- By the end of the class period I will be able to identify the students who are able to meet the objectives.
- I will give no options for nonparticipation.
- I will allow students to make mistakes without fear of failure or embarrassment.
- I will encourage student interaction during a portion of each class period.
- I will explain how one assignment is related to the next.
- I will allow time for the students to practice each new concept before the end of the period.
- I will try to build student confidence and motivate the students to complete homework outside of class.
- I will devise techniques that will give me daily feedback on my success in teaching the students each concept.
The Art of Questioning – a “try-to” list
- Try to pause after asking a question.
- Try to avoid frequent questions which require only a yes or no answer.
- Try to avoid answering my own questions.
- Try to follow up student responses with the question “why?”
- Try to limit the use of questions which rely almost completely on memory.
- Try to avoid directing a question to a student for disciplinary reasons.
- Try to avoid repeating a student’s answer.
- Try to follow up a student’s response by fielding it to the class or to another student for a reaction.
- Try to insist on attentiveness during question periods.
- Try to avoid giveaway facial expressions to student responses.
- Try to make it easy for students to ask a question at any time.
- Try to avoid asking questions that contain the answer.
- Try never to call on a particular student before asking the question. Also, try to avoid calling on a particular student immediately after asking a question.
- Try to ask questions that are open-ended.
- Try not to label the degree of difficulty of a question.
- Try to leave an occasional question unanswered at the end of the period.
- Try to replace lectures with a set of appropriate questions.
- Try to avoid asking for verbal group responses.
- Try to keep the students actively involved in the learning process.
Getting better student responses:
Students have pencil and scratch paper in front of them at all times. Then as I begin questioning I might say, for example, “On your paper, write the factors of 24.” Pause! “Show me what you have written.” I then circle around the room to spot-check answers. This gives me much more information than I would get by asking one student to respond to my question.