Thursday, 3 April 2014

A List of Types of Questions and Talk Moves in the Classroom

My Master's research has been about the types of questions that I ask in my classroom.  I wrote a previous blog post as a chart but I have recently updated the list with definitions.  Thought I would share it.  Would love to also here the types of talk moves and questions that you use in the classroom.

Talk Moves:

Air Misconceptions: airing misconceptions is when the teacher will bring out a misconception in order to get more talk initiated.  It will often be in the form of presenting a wrong strategy or making an incorrect statement.

Answering with another question: a strategy that is often employed by teachers.  It is meant to get the students talk.  By answering their statement with another question teachers are not stating that something is wrong but at the same time that the statement needs further clarification.

Letting students just talk: Often the best talk move is to say nothing and let the students talk it out. 

Monitoring students: The talk move is to see if the students understand what is happening in their strategies or in the congress.  This is often stated as a quick question, "What do you mean?" "Why did you do this?" It is a talk move because it normally is not related to a big idea but more of a diving board to create further and deeper discussion.

No confirmation/ in order to push beyond: Similar to letting students talk, with this talk move the teacher says nothing, which with time, will make the students want to explain more or keep going with the conversation.

Relate back to context: When students are stuck on the problem it is always good to bring them back to the context.

Relate to other problems:  Like above sometimes there is not context, in this situation bring the student back to the problem.

Revoicing: A useful tool to make the students hear back what they have said.  For this talk move all you need to do is state what the student said.  "You are saying..." "Is this what you said...?"  It is important to repeat as best as you can what the student said.

Student revoicing: Same as above but with the students.

Think, Pair, Share: This is good with reluctant talkers or participators in the classroom.  For this move the teacher has the students first thing, then share with a partner and then share with the classroom.

Wait Time: Is exactly what the term says, wait. The more time the better.


Building on: This type of questioning is when the teacher tries to build upon what a student has presented.  This type of question looks like: "How is this related? Why did you do this? What big idea are you using? etc."

Compares students work: This type of question often is used to compare two strategies together.  This type of question looks like: "How is this compared to this strategy? How is this similar...? How is this different?"

Direct teaching: This type of questioning is more teaching statements then questions.  Direct teaching is when the teacher tells the students the answers or information.

Go Beyond:  For this type of questioning the teacher is trying to bring the students beyond what they may understand.  For this questioning the teacher may introduce a new strategy by asking students opinions.  They may also ask if they understand a particular term.  The teacher may also try to relate a problem to a term and see if the students understand.

Initiation- response- evaluation: This is traditionally found when the teacher asks a question they already know the answer to the question.  The purpose of this is not to have students talk but to make sure that information is being disseminated.  Once the teacher hears the appropriate response they often move on or ask another question.

Interrogation: This type of question is often used to gain information from the student.  This is normally is in the form of "Why?" or "How come?"

Scaffolding: These type of questions are used when the students may not understand fully the big idea.  Often the teachers will bring the questioning back to where the students are and then build on the knowledge and answers given.  The first questions may be talk moves, relate to the context, or bring it back to the numbers the students are working with.  To scaffold teachers need a good understanding of students progressions of learning.

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