Tag Archives: Questioning

Fish, dog, whale

Thanks to Kal for sharing this tip.

I saw a great activity when observing a trainee teacher yesterday. The activity is to do with recall of prior topics.

As a start activity or “Do It Now” three questions are put on the board as pupils enter:

The FISH question requires pupils to recall something that they were doing last lesson.

The DOG question requires pupils to recall something that they were doing one-two week ago (previous topic).

The WHALE question requires pupils to recall something they were doing a month ago (perhaps two topics ago).

This is a simple method of introducing spaced learning into lessons. Going forward a department could incorporate specific questions into a scheme of work.

Lollypop sticks and cold call – Teach Like A Champion

The link to the Teach Like  A Champion blog raises some interesting points about using random name generators like lollypop sticks in lessons.  It also talks about the balance between hands up and hands down which was something we talked a lot about in the December INSET day session.


Reflecting on the quality of our questioning

This week’s tip is one to get us thinking about the quality of our questioning in the classroom?  After a long half term, how successful has this important strategy been for us?


  • Is questioning targeted to individual students?  A hands down approach.
  • Does questioning involve a wide range of students?
  • Do we ask students ‘Why?’ – to get them to verbalise their thinking?
  • Does questioning both deepen and develop thinking?  Is it carefully targeted to check for common misconceptions?
  • Are student responses developed by further questioning e.g. what do you mean by that? Can you expand on that?
  • Are students given enough time to think about their responses? Think, pair, share is a nice strategy to develop this.
  • Are hinge questions used during the lesson – to assess whether or not the learning can be moved on e.g. from surface to deep learning?
  • Are reluctant respondents encouraged to respond by careful scaffolding?
  • Are students encouraged to respond to and evaluate the responses of their peers e.g. use ABC questioning – after a response, they need to agree, build on or challenge the response.
  • Are students encouraged to ask questions?
  • Are students expected to rephrase answers in Standard English?
  • If the answer is not correct, do we develop their response by further questioning?