Questioning Techniques in a Differentiated Classroom

Carrie Baker

Asking students questions and inviting them to ask questions of their own can help you discover and address their individual strengths and needs. You can tier questions and problems according to level of challenge, generally progressing from well-rooted, shared understandings toward higher-level work. This allows all students to contribute to the discussion as learning is constructed.Questioning Techniques in a Differentiated Classroom

Follow-up questions can be instrumental in helping students identify missteps, clarify their mental processes, make connections, and expand their understanding. When you ask meaningful questions, you help unlock your students’ thinking:

  • What do you notice about … ?
  • How did you solve … ?
  • Why do you think … ?
  • What is your reason for … ?
  • Can you come up with a rule for … ?

Encourage students to respond in a variety of ways—orally, in writing, sharing with peers, and demonstrating for the class. As they grow in confidence, your students will become comfortable expressing what they know through a range of approaches.

Carrie Baker is a curriculum writer and editor for MLC.