How do you reflect on and evaluate the questions you ask? How often?

@informed_members @Certified_Educators

Good Morning and welcome to Question 7 of our slow chat about creating strong questions.

If you missed our earlier questions, you can check them out here:

Balancing Unit Content with Critical Content Questions and DOK Questions in Assessments
Do you discuss higher order thinking questions with students so that they can develop their own?
How do you determine which level of DOK your assessment or student project fits?
Most Effective Questions and What Makes Them Effective
Increasing Difficult of Questions Within a Unit and Throughout the Year
How Do You Prepare Your Students to Answer Questions Collaboratively vs Independently?

@senger, @Susan_Shires and I would love to hear your thoughts about how you reflect on and evaluate the questions that you ask in class, on formative activities, and summative assessments.
Many of us can probably remember the daily and weekly reflections we had to complete during our time as student teachers, but do we realistically maintain this habit every day as full time teachers?
What routines do you have when it comes to reflecting and evaluating on the questions you ask.

As a middle school teacher, with some days without a lunch break or plan period, I find that I often jot short-hand notes down each day, but don’t really get time to process until the weekend or the end of a unit. Each summer, I make sure I look back at the notes I made for each unit and make the changes I thought were needed on Google Drive if I didn’t have the time during the school year.



Teachers working during summer break because they didn’t have time … really (large dosage of sarcasm here) wish we were given the time to reflect when it was fresh and you could make tweaks right away for sure.
I reflect on my questions a lot is there balance, did I provide enough wait time, did I challenge all learners thinking with my questions, were they fair, and more. I am starting to use data from sources like Formative to help me get better at analyzing my questions and how effective they were. Also working with student teachers/interns has been be a great way to reflect on questioning and teaching in general. Great questions and discussion all week here … thanks.


Every year I tell myself that I am going to do this and don’t. Every year I get mad that I can’t remember. I need to set up a system in DOCs where I can keep notes. This is a great reminder to start with Semester 2!:crossed_fingers:t2:


Reflecting on questions on summatives is fairly easy- look at the success rate for each question and then determine if the question was bad or if you did not teach it effectively.

I try to assess my level and types of questions as I am asking them. I have often said to my students “let me think how I want to ask this next question…” or “what questions do think I should be asking you?” After each class period I can assess quickly and improve for the next class period (much to the probable weak areas for my 1st period :hushed:)

You are so right- and I appreciate sarcasm (especially as a high school teacher!)

The pace of my day allows for little immediate time to really, deeply focus on my questioning all the time. When we meet over the summer as a team it is hard to remember what happened, how it went, and what we want to change. Wait time can sometimes feel like an eternity and I hear some teacher say it really works for them, while others tell me it’s just crickets until they finally start talking again.

More often that not, my conference is PLC time, parent phone calls or emails, grading… no time for much else. I don’t eat lunch because all of this occurs during the 30 minutes I have for that. I am lucky if I get a bathroom break (am I the only one who has this problem??)


My first period class is often the guinea pig class where I can learn on the go and make changes to make the lesson run more smoothly and more effectively - the second group of students I get definitely gets the benefit of what the first group teaches me!


I’m right there with you!


@Susan_Shires, I’m right there with you! The concept behind the PLC is that it will give us more time to use our planning periods for what we need… but I, too, find myself using lunch/plan time to do ‘homework’ for the next PLC. I think we should use part of our PLC time to DO the stuff they want us to do outside PLC.

As for reflecting and evaluating, I reflect a lot! I started putting a Note for Next Time section at the bottom of my digital notes. That way, at the end of the day, I can jot notes for next semester, or even next year. Sometimes, the note says that it went really well. Other times I remind myself what went wrong and what to change for next time. I just started this this year. My hope is that I will actually LOOK at those lesson plans and reflection notes when I go to teach that lesson again.

I will use part of my winter ‘break’ to cycle through those lesson plans and quickly read my ‘notes for next time.’ (… and maybe put in more details for my skimpy ones thrown together for administration. LOL) While I didn’t have time to revamp the lesson plans that day, these notes can help jog my memory and hopefully help me recall how I wanted to change things for ‘next time.’ I made sure the reflection notes were typed in RED with a LARGER FONT to make them stand out for later.


I love this idea. As a special educator, I had a daily log where I recorded student progress and possible supports/interventions/modifications for the following class so that I could better personalize learning. I wish that I would have kept teacher reflection notes like these too. I especially love how you align them with specific lesson plans. I think this probably makes it easier to reflect from year to year, even if the order in which you teach them changes.

I also love how you make note of what went well. I sometimes focused too much on “what went wrong” and would have benefited from noting this too. I bet this helps you build on of past successes.

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I teach both 1st and 2nd semester Algebra 1 each semester. Right now, I’m looking through my lesson plans and reflection notes to plan for the next semester. I’m so glad I started those notes this school year. They’ve been very helpful. I’ve been amazed at the flood of memories as I read those notes. A few minutes at the end of each day has saved me lots of planning time… and much anticipated frustration that would have happened if I didn’t alter the plans. I’m hoping the daily reflection notes will help me hone my lesson plans to as near-perfect as they can be. :slight_smile:

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