Providing Feedback During Questioning

We have conversations in our classrooms every day, but have you ever considered the fact that the when you question your students and provide feedback you are engaged in formative assessment? Those discussions help your students (and you) know in which areas they are doing well, and they also help students improve in areas of need as you speak… literally.

How teachers react to their students’ responses to questions determines how the students process (or don’t process) the content on which the questions is focused. Intentional questioning and thoughtful responses can increase student engagement in a big way.

For example, research shows that when a teacher replies to a student’s response by asking a follow-up question, it expands the thoughts of all the students. However, when a teacher offers a monosyllabic response like “Yes” or “Correct” students often ignore the answer.

In their book, Quality Questioning: Research-Based Practice to Engage Every Learner Walsh and Sattes offer the ideas in the table below to help guide teachers as they react to student responses to questioning:

Adapted from

Adapted from “Quality Questioning” page 96.


2 thoughts on “Providing Feedback During Questioning

  1. I couldn’t agree more about really digging into a student’s thinking “to stretch” it and to share with peers in the classroom or clear up misconceptions they might have.


  2. Thanks for sharing with our teachers during job embedded professional development. The information you shared on providing feedback during questioning and the discussion/reflection time for teachers is so important to the way teachers explore new ways to engage students in learning. Understanding the relationship between teacher reaction to student response can impact student learning/thinking. I am excited to see teacher growth and implementation — awesome job!


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