Everyday Outstanding – The Take Away – Changing the way I question – #3 – @pearcy23

What is your quick win?

Changing the way I question

Why do you need it?

I have always enjoyed using different ways to challenge and question students on their learning. However, it can sometimes fall into the trap of sticking with asking the same students all the questions. So I have been trying to think of ways to ensure there is greater participation in questioning and focus from all. As a PE teacher I have tried to use my specialism to help me develop my questioning strategies in other areas that I teach, for example PSHE.

What is your solution?

During my PSHE Y9 lessons I have begun to use a bean bag to throw top students who I want to answer. This has then helped every student to focus on the lesson due to the possibility of the bean bag coming their way. To develop this further I have added another bean bag of a different colour when I want to probe the question and piggy back answers. If a students can pass the yellow bean bag to another student to build on the answer. This approach has meant students have had to listen to others answers in order to develop, agree or disagree with the answer as they are having to respond to.



Bean bags – Start with one, can add another for different tasks.

Outcomes and Evaluation

In terms of evaluating the introduction of the bean bag into a normally lively group have been positive in a number of ways. Firstly, low level chatter and lack of focus from certain students has improved. This is potentially due to the need to be watching where the bean bag is, but also through the competitive streak in the group, which has meant that they want to catch the bean bag and want to answer the questions that I pose to them.  Secondly, students have become more confident in answering questions and discussing ideas, as the bean bag has changed the culture in the room to one of openness. The introduction of the second yellow bean bag did change the dynamics as students seemed to focus on the bean bag being thrown to their friends at first and not focus on questions and their answers. However, after a few lessons students have changed the way in which they answer many questions and are keen to share their opinions on the topic. This is something that has surprised and impressed me with the group. I have now reduced the use of the bean bag as students have developed the culture, however I will still use for starter activities on sessions that I feel need to get students focused again.

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