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Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers. Quick Write - Reflection. Part #1 : Think about the questions you asked students (or staff) yesterday. Write down 3-5 of them.

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quick write reflection
Quick Write - Reflection

Part #1: Think about the questions you asked students (or staff) yesterday. Write down 3-5 of them.

Part #2: What does your own experience say about the effectiveness of using cues, questions, and advance organizers to activate students' prior knowledge?

thought for the day
Thought for the Day:

“It is probably safe to say that cueing & questioning are at the heart of classroom practice. In fact, research in classroom behavior indicates that cueing & questioning might account for as much as 80% of what occurs in a given classroom on a given day.”

~Robert Marzano

(Classroom Instruction that Works)

the question is more important than the answer
The Question is More Important than the Answer…

What is the Research?


If teachers ask for questions from their students instead of always calling for answers, think how much more students could learn!

  • On average, teachers ask 80 questions each hour.
  • How many questions do students ask in that same time period?

TWO! (Kagan,1999)


Individually, reflect on the following questions:

1.) How do you use cues and questions before a learning experience?

(How often do you use this strategy?)

2.) How often do you ask students questions that require them to make inferences?

(Provide an example.)

3.) How do you monitor the affect of using cues and questions on students’ learning?

  • Cues and questions should focus on what is
  • important as opposed to what is unusual.
  • “Higher-level” questions produce deeper learning
  • than “lower-level” questions.
  • Waiting briefly before accepting responses from
  • students has the effect of increasing the depth of students’ answers.
  • Questions are effective learning tools even when
  • asked before a learning experience.
never say anything
Never Say Anything…
  • Read the article, Never Say Anything a Kid Can Say!
  • Complete the Graphic Organizer Provided.
  • Discuss the article with your team.
steve reifman teaching kids to think about their thinking
Steve Reifman: Teaching Kids to Think About Their Thinking
  • Reflective Feedback – article “Finessing Feedback” from the Educational Leadership
  • Read article – in teams come up with a question-type feedback from feedback that you have currently posted…change this constructive feedback to questioning.
recommendations for classroom practice on questions and cues
Recommendations for Classroom Practice onQuestions and Cues

According to Marzano:

  • Use Explicit Cues
  • Ask Questions that Elicit Inferences
  • Use Analytic Questions
recommendations for classroom practice on questions and cues1
Recommendations for Classroom Practice onQuestions and Cues

Use Explicit Cues

  • Preview of what about to learn
  • Activates prior knowledge
  • Should be straightforward


    • Tell what lesson is about
    • Tell the students what to look for
two categories of questions

Help students fill in gaps from a lesson, activity, reading


Often require students to use prior knowledge in addition to new knowledge to analyze, critique information

Two Categories of Questions
inferential questions
Inferential Questions
  • Answer is implied
  • Read between the lines
  • Student fills in gaps
  • Use prior knowledge
  • Use new knowledge
inferential questions1
Inferential Questions

Four categories:

  • Things and people
  • Actions
  • Events
  • States (of Being)
1 things and people
1. Things and People

What affect does the fairy godmother’s visit have on Cinderella’s life?

2 actions
2. Actions

How did Cinderella feel after the ball?

3 events
3. Events

What is the significance of the ball? From whose perspective (Cinderella got to meet her Prince Charming.

4 states of being
4. States (of Being)

The fairy godmother changed Cinderella’s outside appearance. What changes probably occurred in the way she felt inside?

question writing activity cont
Question Writing Activity (Cont.):

With your partner, write 1 question about the topic you previously chose that could be used to help students analyze the topic (analyze errors, construct support, and analyze perspectives).

implementation recommendations
Implementation Recommendations:
  • Pace yourself. Ask questions when you introduce new content, not just at the end of a learning experience.
  • Ask high-level questions. (Inferential and Analytic)
  • Provide wait time.
  • Preview the big picture. Give students and overview of what the lesson will cover.
  • Use multiple modes. (Verbal, Written, etc.)
rick s reading workshop mini lesson
Rick’s Reading Workshop Mini Lesson
  • Discuss with your table an observation about this video – in reference to questioning.
  • Share
higher order questioning
Higher Order Questioning
  • How to Teach Thinking Skills within the Common Core (7 key student proficiencies of the New National Standards) by Bellanca, Fogarty & Pete. – has mini lessons for each of the Thinking Skills found in Common Core!
  • Research and Inquiry – topic – find all information on it makes you think more deeply! Exploring multiple sources both primary and second to form opinions and theories.
dok levels rbt
DOK Levels - RBT
  • Depth of Knowledge questioning – RIGOR METER
  • Article: Insect Olympics – read and create 3 text-dependent questions at various levels.
advance organizers
Advance Organizers

An Advance Organizer is an organizational framework teachers present to students prior to teaching new content to prepare them for what they are about to learn.

Discussion question:

What are some ways you have you used advance organizers in your classroom?


Advance Organizers

Generalizations based on research:

  • Should focus on what is important not unusual.
  • Higher level advance organizers produce deeper learning.
  • Most useful with information that is not well organized.
  • Different types produce different results.
recommendations for classroom practice on advance organizers
Recommendations for Classroom Practice onAdvance Organizers

Use all 4 types of advance organizers

    • Expository (Brief Synopsis)
    • Narrative (Storytelling)
    • Skimming
    • Graphic
  • Not the only types
  • Advance organizers come in many formats
  • Describes content
  • Written or oral
  • Can include text and/or pictures
  • Helps see patterns


Neurons are nerve cells that transmit nerve signals to and from the brain at up to 200 mph. The neuron consists of a cell body (or soma) with branching dendrites (signal receivers) and a projection called an axon, which conduct the nerve signal.

The axon, a long extension of a nerve cell, and take information away from the cell body.

Myelin coats and insulates the axon increasing transmission speed along the axon.

The cell body (soma) contains the neuron's nucleus (with DNA and typical nuclear organelles). Dendrites branch from the cell body and receive messages.

  • Story format
  • Makes personal/real world connections
  • Makes unfamiliar seem familiar


Before beginning a unit about the experience of immigrant groups who moved to the U.S., Mr. Anderson told the story of his grandfather, who immigrated from Sweden.

  • Preview important information quickly by noting what stands out in headings and highlighted information
  • Pre-reading questions or SQ3R (survey, question, read, recite, review) can be helpful before skimming


When beginning a new lesson, gives students 60 seconds to skim an article paying close attention to headings, subheadings, and the first sentence of each paragraph.

This helps students become aware of what information they will be learning when they read the article more carefully.

graphic organizers
Graphic Organizers
  • Type of nonlinguistic representation which visually represents what the students will learn


thinking about problem solving in questioning
Thinking about problem-solving in questioning
  • Common Core videos can also be found at
questions to think about
Questions to think about:
  • Why is it important that teachers use the instructional strategy of Cues, Questions and Advance Organizers in their instructional practice?
  • How can the use of the Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers instructional strategy help reinforce student learning?

Marzano, R. J. [et al.] (2001). A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, R.J. and Pickering, D.J. (2005).

Building Academic Vocabulary Teacher’s Manual. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., and Pollock, J. E. (2005). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wolf, Dennis Palmer. “The Art of Questioning”.

Academic Connections; p1-7, Winter 1987


This document/product/software was supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Award  #Q27A090111A, CFDA 84.027A, awarded to the Ohio Department of Education).  The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred.