The Instructional Coach’s Corner

The school bell has rung, class is now in session,

Technique #2 in the new Teach Like a Champion 2.0 is “Targeted Questioning.” Targeted Questioning is a strategy that “involves asking a series of carefully chosen, open-ended questions directed at a strategic sample of the class and executed in a short time period.” Imagine the difference between asking, “Does everyone understand the parts of speech?” versus “Who can tell me which word in this sentence is the noun…. Henry?” “Who can identify the verb in the sentence, The dog ran in circles. … Kathy?” “Who can give me two examples of adjectives … Francis?”

Targeted Questioning should take a minute or two tops once you become practiced at it. In fact, the most time consuming process of this process is developing the questions (and then remembering to interject them!) Here are some ideas for doing so successfully:

  • Work in departments or grade level teams to develop good questions – keep a bank on a shared google doc.
  • Don’t forget to utilize textbooks or online resources – many times the hard work is already done and all you need to do is edit and insert the questions into your notes.
  • Add an unpublished Content page within Canvas to keep track of questions year to year.
  • Incorporate the questions into a slide deck such as Pear Deck or Nearpod. (This gives the added benefit of getting responses from all students).
  • Write the questions on index cards and place them on the podium or chalkboard ledge where you will see them.
  • Remember that attention spans are 10-20 minutes, if nothing else, stop and ask for questions at this point in a lecture. Sometimes the students can come up with the best questions!

Targeted Questioning encourages teachers to plan their questions in advance and to ask them at critical transition points in the lesson, so plan ahead!

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!