After I explain something I say, “I am offering a ticket to whoever can generate a question about what I just said. If what I said is completely clear to you then this is an easy way to get some extra points!” Inevitably, they will start asking questions because by offering a prize I have lowered the affective filter. They no longer have to worry about looking “silly” in front of their friends because they are earning extra credit points by asking. What I have witnessed is that once I make it clear that asking questions is prized in our classroom, I no longer have to offer rewards every time, but if I ever hear SILENCE I simply get out the tickets.
Has this every happened to you? You ask: “Does anyone have any questions?” They respond: SILENCE. Moreover, once the activity begins it is very clear that there were many unasked questions! I have found one very effective solution to this issue: I began offering extra credit or tickets (my classroom reward) for students who ask questions.
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!