Students only ask three types of questions: (1) proximity questions â€“ asked when the teacher is close; (2) stop thinking questions â€“ most often of the form “is this right”; and (3) keep thinking questions â€“ questions that students ask so they can get back to work. Only the third of these types should be answered. The first two need to be acknowledged, but not answered.
[via Dylan Kane]
When my students ask â€œIs this right?â€ or express uncertainty about their answer I like to ask them what their confidence level is. 25%? 50%? 75%? etcâ€¦ If itâ€™s less than 50% then I ask them why they are unsure. If itâ€™s over 50% then I ask them what gives them confidence.