• Questioning

    SEL Competencies: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness

Frequent Use Strategy

  • This strategy uses questions to prompt student discussion and debate that expands student thinking and challenges ideas. Effective questioning encourages students to evaluate concepts and sources and ask “Why?” and “How?”.

    When using Questioning, the teacher will purposefully ask strategic questions to help students clarify their thinking and isolate any confusion they may be experiencing.

    Students will develop tolerance for ambiguity, exchange ideas, and develop reasoning skills (inductive/ deductive) through questioning in order to learn.

    Questioning is not teacher-centered, a list of close-ended or recall questions, or a checklist of test questions. Questioning is most effective when teachers pose questions that require thought, allow students to answer questions in a variety of ways (verbal, written, through technology, with peers, etc.), and build students’ ability to ask their own probing questions.

Look Fors

  • Teacher Behaviors for Promoting SEL Competencies

    • During classroom discussions, ask more questions that are open-ended and ask students to elaborate on their own thinking and on the thinking of their peers.
    • Create an environment in which students know that taking risks and asking questions are safe.
    • Show students you care and that you are invested in them by following up when questions pose a concern.
    • Teach students how to pose questions appropriately, whenever they have questions/concerns they want addressed.

    Student Behaviors for Developing SEL Competencies

    • Recognize and acknowledge the thoughts and perspectives of others.
    • Think about the question before responding.
    • Engage with others to promote productive responses.
    • Ask clarifying questions when misunderstanding occurs.

Model Lessons


  •  kids sitting on the floor watching teacher

    Math ES 1196-3

    In this video, the teacher leads a differentiated small group through building an understanding of the AKS through manipulatives and purposeful questioning.

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  • Teacher giving students at table instructions

    Math HS 1207-11

    In this video, the students work to explain their solutions while the teacher asks follow up questions for clarification.

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  • Student in front of classroom

    Math HS 1207-2

    In this video, the teacher scaffolds student learning through purposeful questioning.

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  • Teacher teaching students in classroom

    Math HS 1207-4

    In this video, students exchange their ideas in response to the teacher's probing question regarding the math images.

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  • Teacher has small group discussion with students

    Math HS 1207-8

    In this video, the teacher poses questions for students to analyze and discuss their mathematical thinking.

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  •  Teacher discusses with small group

    Math MS 1200-3

    In this video, the teacher leads a small group to help students identify and correct misconceptions through intentional questioning skills.

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  •  Teacher teaching math in front of classroom

    Math MS 1200-4

    In this video, the students work in collaborative groups to solve a task and the teacher poses questions to students to deepen their understanding of the concept.

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