Boost Students' Thinking with These 5 Questions

Published On: May 3rd, 2016·By ·

These 5 Simple Questions will Boost Students' Thinking Processes

Struggling to boost students' thinking processes? I found 5 questions on social media that can help. I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

With only 5 simple questions, you can boost your students' thinking processes. Dr. Justin Tarte posted an infographic on his Twitter account that listed the questions and explained how those questions will challenge your students' thinking. The infographic is from eduTopia, which put it together based on Rebecca Alber's ideas. You can see that image below.

boost students' thinking

The 5 questions listed will challenge your students' thinking. When a student makes a statement of some kind, these questions prompt the student to think more deeply about what they just said or what you just said. The question, “what do you think?” works for starting a discussion after a statement. It's so broad though, that you might have difficulty getting students to answer, which is where the other questions come in. The next question asks the student to understand why they think that rather than just providing a blanket statement, not unlike in an essay when required to back up statements with evidence and quotes. Another way to get students thinking about the reasoning behind statements, predictions, and such is to ask them why they know what they just said. After you ask that, you can press them further by asking them to tell you more. Once that conversation has wound down, re-address the class and ask if they have any further questions, challenging them to continue to think about the topic even further.

What other questions would you have included in this infographic? What other ways do you use to challenge your students' thinking processes?

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to

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