Blooms for Questioning

You may have already read this post which was published on Lightbulb in September. In the light of our impending visit, I thought it might be useful to ‘un-hide’ it! The pdf below is a fantastic resource and I’ll get some made up for each classroom.

On 3rd September I wrote: 

This week’s focus is to revisit the use of Bloom’s in the classroom. Since we are making more honed use of our seating plans, to show the achievement, progress and potential of all of our students, it seems to make sense to use differentiated questioning to allow them to make that progress, whatever their level. After loads of research on various blogs, a veritable national gallery of Blooms posters and infographics, and strange you-tube clips of people who just talk a lot, I’ve found what I think might be the most useful resource for today.

Blooms’ Taxonomy Teacher Planning kit

One way in which we might start using questioning using Bloom’s more consciously could be to start writing questions into lesson plans.  Take a lesson plan that you have already completed for a forthcoming lesson, take 5 students that you wish to target using focussed questioning, and write in the questions that you will ask at a given point during the lesson. If these questions are written into lesson plans, with the Bloom’s verb (lower or higher order thinking skill) clearly marked, differentiation is obvious to an observer, and all students (over the course of a series of 5 or 6 lessons) will be challenged to think beyond simple closed questions.

To make this specific to your subject, ask yourself: what do I ask questions for in class? Well duh! (you may be thinking) (or you may have switched the tab back to ebay). But answers are varied and depend on the context. How often do we simply ask questions that require recall of information? Or to bring attention back to the topic/speaker? Or that are rhetorical? (‘do you really think you should be speaking into a room fan?’). But what about these:
• engaging their interest
• challenging them to think independently
• encouraging them to explore consequences
• stimulating their ability to think creatively
• deepening and broadening their thinking, moving from concrete and factual to more analytical and evaluative
• helping them to make their own assessments and evaluations of what they have said or done
• raising their awareness of learning as a process
• helping them to make connections between different aspects of their knowledge and experience
• generating hypotheses
• bringing their attention back to the task
• encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning

You could now select three types of questioning that you know you don’t use much, and see whether you can apply them to your students, using the Blooms’ question starters/verbs in the planning kit.

Of course once we are used to asking and varying the types of questions, we can then look at creative ways of asking students to apply their understanding – this is where the Padagogy Wheel here comes in, with its ideas for integrating the iPads with our teaching and their learning.

NB: you will notice that there is a certain confusion over Blooms’, Bloom’s, or Blooms. I have used all three. Please let me know which is the correct one.


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