Just a quick post considering questions to be used in place of ‘What makes you say that?’ This is a question I use often, so much so that after a while my class predict it is coming and provide the answer automatically. But in some settings it is not the right question and in others it doesn’t take the conversation in the right direction. I thought there must be better questions that have the effect of forcing a deeper level of thinking. In response to that thought I listed some of the other questions I find I use often in those situations where a student clearly has the foundation of a great idea but need to go one step further. I included some ideas from Tony Ryan who shared some great ideas on how to ensure the whole class is attentive to the discussion that is happening and to guarantee active/reflective listening is taking place. Anyway here is the list. I will add to this as I think of and discover more. If you have a great question like this share it on Twitter with #cotchat and I will collate them here.
- What makes you say that?
- What makes you think that?
- How do you know that?
- What makes you value that?
- What has changed about your thinking?
- What changed you mind?
- What questions does that raise?
- What question would a sceptic ask?
- What evidence do you have?
- What is the weak point in your argument?
- Who would agree with you?
- Who would disagree with you?
- What do you still need to know?
- What else?
- What is missing?
- Where do you go from here?
- What part of the problem is left?
- What are you certain about? Why?
- What do you understand least?
- Can you summarise what X said?
- Is Y’s summary accurate, if not, what is inaccurate?
Terry Heick writing for te@chthought shared these questions that are of value when wrapping up a conversation as they encourage a deeper level of reflection on the full discussion. Read Terry's Article
- What have been the highlights?
- What have been the rough spots?
- What do we now understand?
- What do we still not understand?
- Whose voices didn’t we hear? Why?
The end of a conversation is also a great time to apply the thinking routine "I used to think . . . No I think . . ." This routine can be an excellent way of recording changes to students thinking and understanding as a result of a conversation or learning experience. A slight change to this could make it useful at a midpoint in a discussion where there is time to continue the exploration, to do this try 'I used to think . . . But I am unsure of . . .' or 'I used to think . . . But need to find evidence for . . .'
by Nigel Coutts with input from #cotchat