Have you ever asked, How was your day? and received the response, good? If you’re like most parents, when you ask your child a question, you receive a one word answer, and the conversation ends. Asking open ended questions is one way to learn about your child’s day, get your child to use more than one word answers, and encourages them to think.
In a classroom, open-ended questions encourage creative thinking, problem-solving, written expression and communication skills. Some open-ended questions and question starters are: - What do you think about…? - What did you like most about the movie? - What else can you do? - What if we…? - What made you happy today? or, - If you could be principal, what would you do?
Teachers are typically very good at asking open ended questions. However, many complain that students don’t know how to answer them, or to fully express a thought or describe a concept. Good questioning skills may be difficult to learn. But, if you ask the right questions in the right way, you can help your child express ideas they may not realize they have.
Helping children learn how to express themselves in words, is very beneficial at home and in school, and can begin with a simple statement, Tell me about your day, instead of How was school today.