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Observation Sheet Questioning

(Please complete this form for both primary and secondary professional
experiences and place in your ePortfolio)
Graduate Standards - AITSL
Professional Knowledge:
1. Know students and how they learn
Professional Practice:
2. Plan and implement effective teaching
and learning
Question Type

Do you feel your

questions were clearly
structured and readily
understood by the

Small Group Lesson

My questions for this lesson were clearly structured as
students who were confident in the work were able to
understand what I was asking and provide the correct
answer. Anytime a student didnt understand what I was
asking I felt was due to them not really understanding the
topic. In these cases, I would break the questions down
further or explain in steps the activities they were
Whole Group Lesson
During this lesson I felt the majority of the students
understood our questions well. Between the two of us we
tried to ensure that our questions were simple as the
concept of source analysis were relatively new to the

Did you use a variety of

question types?

Small Group Lesson

As this was a maths lesson where the topic called for the
one correct answer I found I was using mainly recall
questions. For example, I would ask the students what the
answer was when x equals 10 what does y equal. In this
particular lesson I did not feel like I used a variety of
Whole Class Lesson
In this lesson we used a variety of recall and
comprehension. Questions were sourced both from our
lesson plans and the questions within their source analysis
which they were required to complete. Explaining (ie
comprehension) was particular important in this
assessment which required students to look at either a

What balances was

there between the
various questions

visual or written source and analyse it for specific details

and information.
The whole class lesson was more focused on
comprehension questions. We began with recall questions
when asking the students what they thought the terms
primary and secondary source meant. After the
definitions had been covered we focused on
comprehension questions which came directly from their
practise source analysis booklet.
Is source # a primary or secondary source? Use
Describe 2 reasons why you think source # was created.
Describe 2 things that source # tells you about life in
Ancient Rome.

Consider both why and

when you made use of
the different question

Small Group Lesson

I utilised recall questions here because maths is a subject
which often requires students to reach the one correct
answer. Recall questions also helped to me gauge the
students knowledge on the topic.
Whole Group Lesson
We used recall questions at the beginning of the lesson to
both assess whether or not the students knew the
definitions for the key terms in their assessment and start
a class discussion about the words we were defining. After
we had agreed upon class definitions we moved on to the
comprehension questions. These questions allowed the
students to discuss what they thought they needed to
include in their answers to get full marks as well as linking
the source with content they had been taught in previous
lessons. In particular this assessment focused on the
students providing evidence for their answers rather than
simply stating what they thought the source was telling

Distributing and Directing Questions

Did you recognise any
pattern in the
distribution of your
questions amongst the
students? Consider
reasons for this pattern?

Small Group Lesson

During this lesson I found the extension students
answered all the questions and the rest of the group
seemed to expect them to. I used wait time however this
didnt result in any more hands being raised. When I tried
to ask students who didnt have their hands up if they
would like to give the question a go they would tell me
they didnt understand the work or would look away from
me. I found that students were more willing to give my
questions a go when we were one on one. This may have
been due to students being nervous to make a mistake in
front of their peers, particularly since I had such a wide
variety of skill level.
Whole Group Lesson
During our first attempt at the lesson we found that there
were one or two students on each table who would be
putting their hands up for each question with the rest of
the students sitting back. After this lesson our mentor
teacher suggested we tell the students that we will not
begin calling upon students until we have about 50% of
hands up and then increase the number of hands at the
end of the lesson to about 80%. When we did this in our
second attempt of the lesson it worked really well in
getting more students to raise their hands and give the
question a go. I tried to do an even split between calling
upon students who were reluctant at first to put their
hands up and those who put them up straight away. In
comparison to my small group the whole classes, I felt,
were less concerned about making a mistake in front of
their peers.

How have you directed

questions to the group?

Have you used wait


During both lessons I aimed to direct my questions to the

entire group in order to encourage discussion amongst the
students. However, as my idea of working as one big
group was not successful in my small group the questions
became more focused on individuals and pairs rather than
the group.
Small Group Lesson
I found that wait time was not very successful as the
group seemed to expect and rely upon the extension
students to answer all the questions. I changed my lesson
plan to be more individual work so the question became
directed to individual students rather than the whole


Did you make eye

contact with the group
as you directed your

Whole Group Lesson

During the first attempt at the lesson we tried to use wait
time to allow students to process the question and put
their hand up. However, I found that the same couple of
people from each table would participate at different
times during the lesson. During the second attempt at the
lesson we used wait time and indicated to the students
what it was we were waiting for (ie approximately 50% of
hands up). This was extremely successful in getting all the
students at some point during the lesson to participate in
the class discussion.
In both my small group and whole class lesson when I
asked a question I tried to make eye contact with a couple
of students spread all over the room or within the group. I
did this to try and communicate to the students that this
was a class discussion and that everybody should be
trying to get involved.

Reactions to Students Responses

How do you deal with

correct responses? Do
you qualify any praise

How do you deal with

incorrect responses?
How do you deal with
students who stumble
and grope for an

In both cases I made sure to praise the students publicly

(ie in front of the whole group/class). During the whole
class lesson, if required, I would encourage them to
expand on what they had said or open it to the class to
expand on what they had said. I felt this praise was
important because this type of assessment was brand
new to the students and being praised for their answers,
even for only certain parts of it, I hope was encouraging
them that they were understanding the work. During the
small group lesson I would praise correct answers,
however, due to the shift in what I had planned the praise
was more directed at the individual than the group.
During the small group lesson, I would tell the students
that they hadnt quite got the correct answer and tell
them that we would work it out together.
During the whole class lesson, I would tell the students
that they hadnt quite got the answer. In some cases their
answers were correct for a different type of source and I
ensured that I told them this and that they understood
how their proposed answer could be correct in a different
scenario. If an answer was incorrect I would explain to
them why and make sure they understood why that was
the case.
In regards to students stumbling with their answers, this
wasnt really an issue in the small group. However, in the
whole class lesson we would both prompt the students in
order to get them back on track but not too much in case
we finished the answer for them and what we said wasnt

what they had been meaning to say. This wasnt a major

issue though.
During the whole class lesson, we both made sure to
What use do you make
utilise and build upon the answers provided by the
of the students
students. When we were getting the students to discuss
responses to develop
what they thought the key terms were we tried to
the teaching point?
highlight links between different students answers in
Have you redirected any order to form a more coherent class definition. When we
questions in order to
were discussing possible answers which would gain full
add to an initial
marks we would open it up to the rest of the class to build
upon suggestions which werent quite full mark answers.
We would also ask the student who provided the response
questions which would prompt them towards the part of
their answer which they were missing. In particular we
asked them what evidence they had used to support their
During my small group lesson, I certainly felt like I was the
Are you the only
only evaluator of their answers and I think this was
evaluator of the
because it was more focused on individual work so they
students answers?
couldnt get their peers to evaluate their answers.
During the whole class lesson, I felt the students were also
involved in evaluating their peers answers. This could be
seen through them raising their hands after a student had
provided a possible answer because they wanted to add
something to it. However, I was very much still involved in
the evaluation of students answers.
Students certainly place more value on evaluation which
comes from their teachers. I think this is because
evaluation which comes from other students often comes
from a negative situation such as students laughing at
peers because they got the answer wrong.

Overall Comments
I feel that my questioning was more successful during my whole group lessons.
Particularly because they achieved my desired outcome of getting all the
students involved in the discussion. Overall I felt my questions were understood
by the students and any misunderstandings or lack of understanding came as a
result of unfamiliarity with the topic rather than because they didnt understand
the questions. The combined use of wait time and informing the students what
we were waiting for was very successful in getting students more involved and I
think this is a technique I will be using in the future. I do feel that I need to start
trying to incorporate higher order questions in to my lessons to challenge the
students who are understanding the content quickly.