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25 Ways of Developing Deeper Questioning Skills

by | Feb 8, 2019 | Information Fluency

Developing deeper questioning skills often begins with the simple idea of admitting we don’t know something. However, this can be difficult in a classroom setting for a number of reasons. For one thing, our modern learners are often facing stringent outside expectations to perform at certain academic levels. Additionally, they deal with peer pressure as well as observation from other students, some of whom can be notoriously harsh in the face of error or failure. The fact is, it’s a gamble for a student to say in all honesty, “I don’t know” when called upon.

But does it have to be this way? Of course not, not with turnarounds like the ones you’ll find in this article from TeachThought called 25 Alternatives To “I Don’t Know” And “I Can’t. If ever there were ways to turn uncertainty into determination and failure into growth, these are some of the best for learners of every kind. They’re also the perfect pathways for developing deeper questioning skills and abilities. 

25 Turnarounds for Developing Deeper Questiong Skills

  1. I need help with …
  2. Before I can respond, I need …
  3. I’m nervous about being wrong.
  4. I can’t …, but I can …
  5. If I knew how to …, I could answer. (Or, ‘If I could …, I could …)
  6. I don’t know now, but I will soon because …
  7. After talking to …, I think …
  8. Let me find out.
  9. I’m not certain, but maybe …
  10. I’m confused exactly *here*.
  11. It’s just a hunch, but …
  12. A better question is …
  13. Is this close?
  14. I can’t because …
  15. Learning is like a 10-run ladder, and I’m on rung # …
  16. Let me make sure I understand exactly what’s being asked…
  17. I feel comfortable/can answer or respond to this part…
  18. Because I’m not sure, I should …
  19. After googling, I’m wondering …
  20. I can tell you that …
  21. I know/know how to … and don’t know/know how to …, so the next step that makes the most sense is …
  22. My gut tells me …
  23. In the past when I didn’t know, one thing that worked for me is …
  24. I don’t know because …
  25. I’m going to start answering by …

Additional Reading

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