Quick Tips

Quick Tips: The Question Wall

Kids ask a lot of questions. And many times, these questions are not related to the lesson.
For me, this has always been a difficult thing to deal with. How can I support my students’ curiosity but still keep my lessons on track?
That’s where a Question Wall can help.
So what is a Question Wall?
It’s simply a place where students can post their questions for you to address at a later date.
Here’s what you need for a Question Wall:

  1. A dedicated wall space with the label “Question Wall”
  2. A pack of sticky notes
  3. A pen/pencil

Let’s say a student asks a question during class that you do not have time to address. Simply ask the student to write their question on a sticky note. You could hand them the sticky note pack to write the question on the spot or you could ask them to remember the question and write it down at another time. The student then puts the sticky note on the Question Wall.
You can also encourage students to write down questions for you outside of class time.
Pick a time each day, possibly after the warm up, to address 1-2 questions from the question wall. A possible procedure could be to have the student who posted the question read it to the class. Then, ask the class if anyone knows the answer. Finally, either confirm an answer that has been given or share the answer with the class.
I like Question Wall for two reasons. First, it encourages curiosity while not taking away from instruction. My biggest fear by saying, “I can’t answer that question now. We need to finish the lesson,” is that students may stop asking questions. Obviously, we don’t want that. We want our students to be curious about the world. That’s how real learning happens.
Second, I see the Question Wall as a great opportunity to build relationships with students. Depending on the age group, you will indeed get some “off the wall” questions, and that’s ok. These crazy and silly questions can often help lighten the mood of a classroom and help you build a positive rapport with your students.
What do you think of the idea of a Question Wall? Let me know in the comments.

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