Developing Thinking Skills
Indicator 14 - Factual Questions UETS 3b., 4a., 4c., 7b., 7d.
Effective teachers ask factual questions which require students to describe, state, or report facts. Questions should concentrate on academic content rather than personal experience. The purpose of asking factual questions is to check for student understanding and to determine appropriate pacing of the lesson. Factual questions often take the form of who, what, where, when, etc.
- Ask factual questions for short, quick responses to make sure students are familiar with material:
- “What does five times three represent?
- “Which countries were allies to the United States during World War II?"
- Use factual questions as a review of material.
- Use factual questions to build background knowledge.
- Use factual questions as a springboard into higher-level discussions where students are encouraged to think, react and analyze:
- “What is the sum of the interior angles of a triangle?"
- "Right! 180 degrees. How do you think we could find the sum of the angles for any regular polygon? Is there a way we could figure this out?”
- Use factual questions to analyze student errors and misconceptions in order to redirect, focus, and deepen learning.