What Questions Did You Ask Today?

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Key Stage 2 English By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: English » Key Stage 2 English
Last updated: 17/04/2017
Tags: child-led, enjoyment of lessons, extend vocabulary, questioning, self-esteem

If you visit any classroom, there will be many different characters and personalities there. The confident and the shy, the interested and the disengaged, the child who is always talking, and the child who is nearly always silent unless prompted.

Do you ask your child "What did you learn at school today?" What is their reply? All parents will know that you might get a blow by blow account, or you might just get a shrug.

I once talked to an educationalist who had a firm routine of asking his children "What questions did you ask today?" That idea stuck with me throughout my time in the classroom. The only rule I ever had was to always, always stop me and ask a question if one pops into your head. Encouraging children to ask 'why' in a classroom setting is a difficult thing to balance when you consider peer pressure and the reactions of others. I would build a culture of encouragement where we all recognised that we were all on a learning journey, including me, not matter our own individual starting points.

With tutoring, it is much easier to encourage that questioning attitude. The praise that follows asking about something you don't understand being crucial. The fear of reproach from peers is removed and a gradual build of self-esteem will hopefully follow. I really believe that developing and encouraging questioning then puts the child in the driver's seat of their learning. They are the driver. What lines of enquiry do we need to follow to build on existing knowledge.

I believe learning should be something the learner is submersed in, rather than it being something that is done to them. Questioning invites learning, learning builds confidence and confidence can mean progress. So when your child comes home next, don't ask "What did you learn at school today?", instead, try asking "What questions did you ask today?"


Helen Cowlan 11+ exam Tutor (Swindon)

About The Author

I enjoy helping young people to find that 'penny dropping' moment. Learning isn't easy for everyone, and my approach is to make learning enjoyable and really delve into where difficulties may lie.




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