The brain is not a container that we dump information into, the brain is a problem solver. When we ask the brain a question, the brain will search for the answer. This explains the phenomenon that happens when you run into someone you know at the grocery store but can not remember their name. Later when you are falling asleep your brain remembers their name. That is because you asked your brain a question and although it took several hours to answer, it was diligently finding the answer for you.
This philosophy of “Ask, Don’t Tell” is one of the cornerstones of my teaching.
It does not matter if the student accomplished the goal, it matters if they know that they accomplished the goal. We may enthusiastically exclaim “Good Job!” when a student has accomplished the goal but we do not actually know if they were aware of what they accomplished - this is where questions come in. Questions both create awareness and are using the brain as it is intended - to solve problems.
Since we only see our students briefly once a week, it is imperative that we set them up in a way that they know how to work when they are practicing by themselves. Questions are a powerful and effective tool to help us create students that are aware and able to best use their time when practicing at home.
Below is a short clip form my parent talk "Creating a Culture of Success" on the concept of "Ask, Don't Tell."