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Questions in the classroom are the cornerstone of education.

They provide the stimulus for critical thought and deep-level understanding. Questions engage and excite the learner while providing them with new insights and ideas about the material being learned. Questioning in a classroom challenges the students to think about the lesson and to give their own opinions and analysis. A classroom with effective questions contains students interacting and responding with the teacher. Students are excited and eager to answer the teachers thought-provoking and inspiring questions. An effective teacher teaches with questions. Classroom questioning provides many benefits. The use of the question in the classroom gives the student a rich and rewarding educational experience. It promotes a greater desire to learn, it helps solidify learning that has already taken place, it creates learning connections and relationships and helps students assess their own progress. The teacher's objective is to engage the student in learning and encourage thought on many levels. A teacher's questioning helps students regulate their own learning, thereby motivating them to want to explore the concept deeper and more fully. Many teachers use low-level questions to check whether students have memorized a fact or if they have remembered to bring in their homework. By using higher level questions in the classroom, teachers can improve their students motivation and raise standards. Encouraging students to ask questions themselves balances teacher-led lessons, also known as lectures. An effective teacher does not ask questions that are vague because students will not know how to respond. Teachers should avoid questions that elicit a yes or no response and focus on open questions where students have to provide a longer, thought out response. There are many different types of questions that should be used within a classroom. The types of questions that teachers can use include: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Knowledge Questions ask the student to recall data or information. Comprehension Questions ask the student to understand meaning. Application Questions ask the student to use a concept in a new situation. Analysis Questions ask the student to separate concepts into parts and distinguish between facts and inferences. Synthesis Questions ask the student to combine parts to form new meaning. Evaluation Questions ask the student to make judgments about the value of ideas or products. Throughout the semester, I had the wonderful opportunity of observing several of Mrs. Murrays science lessons, along with assisting and facilitating some science lessons of my own. I noticed a lot while observing in her classroom. I had the chance to see what types of questions worked well in what situations with which students. Some students simply did not respond well to specific types of questions because they felt like they were put on the spotlight. I completely understand how those certain students felt because I can be shy myself, and I do not like when teachers ask me long, drawn out questions in front of the whole class. I also saw that some questions are only appropriate to ask at the beginning of

lesson because they may pertain to something that was discussed the previous day, and the question was specifically meant for review. Teachers should also remember to incorporate a mixture of open ended and closed questions in a lesson. Closed Questions are usually looking for one definite answer. Open Ended Questions are allowing students to communicate what they know and how they understand it. Effective teachers use open ended questions often throughout their lessons and lectures. Observing Mrs. Murrays fourth grade class weekly, I got to see her ask higher cognitive questions and lower cognitive questions, and I had the time to compare and analyze why she chose that type of question. During a lesson on circuits, Mrs. Murray was reviewing closed circuits, open circuits, wires, batteries, and some other terms. Her technique to review these terms was to simply say the definition and ask the class or a specific student which term matched that definition. That type of question is a closed question because there is only one answer and does not need a response. Mrs. Murray would also ask the class or a particular student to tell the definition of one of those terms. This question is not necessarily an open ended question, but it is an elaborate closed question, due to the fact that the student must know all of the terms. A closed question can be answered with either a single word or a short phrase. Mrs. Murray also incorporated open ended questions into her lesson on circuits. She asked the students how they think the we have power. The various students that responded had to really think about how they thought we had electricity. Mrs. Murray was very impressed with the very different responses, and she was happy that each student listened to the previous student attempt at answering the question and used their response to help them with their own response. Asking questions throughout the lesson keeps the students engaged and enhances their learning. Even though the students may not have been correct, they each had good presumptions, and when Mrs. Murray clarified the correct answer for the class, they all eagerly waited for the correct answer. Having the students engaged and listening at that caliber is essential to their learning. Wait time is the period of silence between the time a question is asked and the time when one or more students respond to that question. Teachers sometimes do not have a good wait time with their students in the classroom because there are many other factors that affect the lesson time. When teachers use an appropriate wait time, the students are given enough time to think through their answer and fully process the question. Depending on the type of question or subject/topic being taught, the wait time will vary. If a teacher gives the student just five seconds more to think through the answer, the length of the student response will increase 400 to 800 percent. The students failure to respond decreases and the students confidence increases. Students are more likely to ask more questions with a longer wait time. Mrs. Murray had a different wait time in different subjects and at different times in a lesson. If she asked a question in the beginning of a

lesson during review, she would not have a long wait time because she expects the class to know or remember. While Mrs. Murray is teaching new material, she would have a longer wait time in between questions because she would give the students time to think and process the answer. Throughout discussion, Mrs. Murray gives accepting, extending, or probing responses. An Accepting Response is when the teacher is agreeing with the students answer; this response usually is tied with a Good Job or Nice or Great. An Extending Response is when the teacher assists the student with their answer hoping they can complete their own train of thought. A Probing Response is when the teacher is trying to get the student to further explain or clarify their answer. Mrs. Murray uses all three types of responses during her instruction, but usually probing questions because she truly wants the students to learn for themselves and to think through that struggle.