Power Formula for Classroom Questioning

By Rod Lucero

questioning formula

This powerful formula allows the instructor to control questions and, therefore, learning. Here are some of the other benefits—identified by the Essential Elements of Instruction Research—that you might derive when adding this simple formula in your teaching strategy.

  1. Higher level questions to student needing to be challenged
  2. Lower level questions to students having difficulty with the content or concept
  3. Allows for praise after a correct response
  4. Eliminates one or two students from controlling the dialogue
  5. Eliminates the need for hand raising
  6. "Passing" the questions empowers students, and yet requires them to get their voice in the room
  7. Allows for individualized prompting, based on students needs
  8. Insures student accountability in the lesson
  9. Students are always "on the hook" or better said, "on-task", as they don’t know when they might be called upon, raising their "level of concern" for the learning-at-hand.
  10. Eliminates the "call-out" or the "choral response"
  11. Allows for differentiation
  12. Students get "their voice in the room"
  13. Students are responsible for creating the learning environment as they can’t help but be engaged in it… (Keep in mind: "…people support what they help to create".
  14. A very effective technique for controlling whispering, and "off-task" conversations
  15. An effective strategy to establish and maintain effective classroom management

Copyright and Permissions:

Thanks to Dr. Rod Lucero, Associate Professor in the School of Education and the Associate Director for the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation (STEPP) at Colorado State University, for this Teaching Tip. Rod is the Master Teacher Initiative (MTI) Coordinator for the College of Applied Human Sciences.


Peter Connor - TILT Web Content Writer and Editor