The type of questions that we as teachers ask is one of the most important parts of our job. Questions can determine the understanding of a topic.
The article Three Ways to Ask Better Questions was the most helpful to me. It showed the importance of preparing questions, playing with their wording, and asked them at the right time. Before reading this, I don't think I would have even thought about preparing questions ahead of time to ask during my lessons. I would have always figured I would ask them as they came to me in that moment. However, I do think it is a good idea to plan these questions ahead of time, this way you can be sure that they go with the lesson and that they will benefit the children. The wording of questions is also a factor in whether or not the children will benefit from them. Questions should be worded in a way that the students will understand it, but it should also make them have to think. open-ended questions benefit the students more than close-ended questions do. Open ended questions require more thought and explanation from the children. The last point that was made was timing of the question. It isn't always necessary to ask questions about a topic right away. Sometime it is good to wait until the next day so the kids have had time to process the information, and thus they will be able to better answer an open-ended question.
I also really liked the article by Ben Johnson The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom. He talked about the fact that in almost all cases, kids let the "smart kids" answer all the questions. The rest of them just sit back and listen. This is very true. Once it is figured out who is smart and who is not, the smart kids always take the floor and raise their hands to answer questions while the other children just sit back and let it happen that way. Teachers are also guilty of just letting that happen. Teachers should take the TPR approach. we should call on different students each time a question is to be answered. This way all students are involved, and all students are thinking about the answer to the question. Every student should have to answer a question verbally almost every class period.
The video Questioning Styles and Strategies also demonstrated many good strategies for asking children questions. This video showed the importance of asking questions that are mastery, understanding, interpersonal, and self expressive. This particular class was answering questions on the book "Bridge to Terabithia". The teacher asked questions that would test their understanding of the book. He also asked them questions to check their mastery of concepts in the book. He asked them what they thought it would have been like there. He also asked them how they got closer by playing there. Then at the end he got them to draw a picture of what the believed Terabithia could have looked like.
I would have never guessed the importance of asking questions in the right way. I always knew it was important to ask them, but I wasn't aware that there was a right way of doing so. It all makes sense to me however, that the way questions are worded and the understanding children have of them, helps them to learn and comprehend the answers.