Pass it on

A simple method of questioning students.

Teacher: “Andrew, can you recall one of the number systems we looked at last lesson?”

Andrew: “…………….”

We have all been in this situation. How do we make this easier for the student that for some reason has forgotten everything about your subject?

We need to make the student comfortable, let them know forgetting answers is fine, however, they are going to have to answer a question, we need to build them back up again. I have seen many teachers ask the same question again, that is not going to help, you need to ask the same question in a different way.

Teacher: “okay, Andrew, what number system do computers use?”

Andrew: “…………….”

Here we have asked the same question, we have just been more direct, we are now limiting the amount of incorrect responses we may get. Have haven’t given the student any more help than changing the question, in most cases this will work, and the student will be able to have a go at the answer, if they are still stuck or if they get it wrong, change the question again.

Teacher: “Alright, Hexadecimal is one of the number systems, another one uses ones and zeros?”

Andrew: “oh, binary”

Teacher: “Well done, excellent efforts!”

Consistent use of this method will keep students engaged, they will start to notice that you don’t move from them and you ensure they get a question correct. 

The interaction with the student always ends in a positive way, the student getting an answer correct, you just might have to change the question a few times.