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Using Open-Ended Questions in the Classroom

11 Oct 2018 by Caitlin Neely

Now that school has been in session for a couple of months, you might be wondering how you can connect with your students in the classroom and during lessons. The answer? Open-ended questions!

Open-ended questions are an effective way to challenge your students and learn more about how they think. They encourage extended responses and allow your students to reason, think, and reflect. Some examples of open-ended question include, "What do you think... ?" and "How did you decide... ?"

At first, it can be hard to incorporate open-ended questions into your daily routines and lesson plans. But, with some practice, they can help you transform your classroom's learning environment, and the way your students think about the world. We've got three resources below that will teach you more about the basics of open-ended questions and how to incorporate them into your classroom.


1. E-Book

Our e-book, All About Open-Ended Questions, is a great starting point. You'll learn about the basics of open-ended questions, gain some strategies for incorporating them into the classroom, and discover how you can help your students answer them. There's also several open-ended question starters sprinkled throughout the e-book so you won't have to think up all of them on your own.

2. Webinar Recording

During the summer, we did a webinar with EdWeb about open-ended questions in the early learning classroom. This webinar will allow you to dig a little deeper into open-ended questions. You'll be given exercises to help you generate your own open-ended questions, strategies for "encouraging children to reflect and respond," and learn how open-ended questions fit into the CLASS tool.

3. Infographic

This infographic is perfect for those of you who want to learn about the basics of open-ended questions in an easy-to-read format, or for those of you who need a refresher or reminder of the basics. Print it out and carry it with you, and share it with your colleagues!

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Free E-book: All About Open-Ended Questions