(Originally posted 3/2/10)
I have to confess…..I really had trouble with PQA (Personalized Questions and Answers). The idea behind PQA is to use a targeted, high-frequency phrase in conversation with students so that they hear (and comprehend it) many, many times.
At first, I didn’t spend a lot of time nor energy analyzing my PQA resistance….I just avoided it whenever possible. (Fortunately now there is Ben Slavic’s PQA in a Wink!! …but pre-Ben all I could do was marvel at how Susie and others wove wonderful questions in workshops and wish that I could do the same.)
Then one day I had an epiphany! PQA is NOT about the focus structure. IT’S ABOUT THE STUDENTS! So…..instead of asking myself, what questions can I create using this phrase, I began to ask myself…
Can I get to know my students better using this phrase? If so, how?
This cleared away many of the thoughts and emotions that were holding me back. First…I realized that not all phrases are good PQA material. I was able to find other ways to get repetitions with those phrases. (Work smarter not harder Laurie Ann!!)
Second…when I started to think of questions in light of getting to know my students better, the questions became more interesting!!! I was more interested, the questions were more interesting, and so, of course, the students became more interested!!
The third piece that really helped me was incorporating other TPRS skills into my PQA forays. Combining PQA with teaching to the eyes, using signals, choral responses, and circling helped me to focus on my strengths rather than my weaknesses.
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