As students move forward with their education, they become increasingly responsible for their own learning.  Parents and teachers will work continuously to help build a strong academic foundation, but in time, the student’s ability to anticipate what is needed to prepare for class discussion, assignments, tests, and projects will play a major role in their learning and academic success.

Preparation is critical to success in school and in life.  Anticipation is the key to the best possible preparation. What can parents do to help build anticipation skills? In this blog, we will look at how many Follow-up questions are actually anticipation questions.  We will also review some specific questions that will help parents and ultimately the child to be more prepared for academic challenges.

Challenge your Child explains how the use of Open-ended questions helps you assess what your child knows or needs to learn.  This is the start of building a solid academic foundation.  Follow-up questions will help you add to your child’s knowledge base and increase understanding. The two question types combined can be used to create all the repetition opportunities needed to build a deeper understanding of key concepts thus building a stronger academic foundation.

A lot of times, your Follow-up questions will naturally come from your own anticipation. Your Follow-ups will be built around what else you think your child might need to know for important life knowledge or what might be asked in school discussions or on tests. Through your anticipation questions and discussion, your child may already have knowledge, insight, and understanding other students do not. 

In addition to the Follow-up questions you might create, enclosed are some specific examples of Open-ended anticipation questions and some simple follow-ups that will assist you in helping your child to be more prepared for academic challenges. Answers to these anticipation questions will help you create the dialogue and repetition needed for more focused study and better preparation for school challenges. 

  • What will be the 2 toughest words on your Spelling test tomorrow?  How would you spell these words and define their meaning?  How would you use these words correctly in a sentence?
  • What will be the most challenging Math concept on tomorrow’s test?  How would you explain this concept to me or how would you show me a problem where you can use this concept?
  • What key teaching points from this week’s class discussion will most likely be on the test tomorrow?  How would you explain your understanding of each of these points?
  • If you were the teacher, what 2-3 questions from this week’s material would you be sure to ask on tomorrow’s test?  How would you explain your understanding of each of these critical points?
  • What will the Test format be for your Chapter exam?  Will the test be Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blanks, Matching, Essay, or all of the above?  Depending on the format, how can you best prepare?
  • What 2 key ideas from your Reading assignment will your teacher most likely discuss in class tomorrow?  If called upon in class, how would you explain your understanding of these ideas?
  • What must you focus on with this writing assignment to get a top grade?  Why is this concept so important?  How would you explain your understanding?
  • What else will you need to know for class discussion, tomorrow’s test, etc.  This question, to wrap up your dialogue, may help you gain even more information to help in preparation.

In time, as your child sees how your Follow-up questions or anticipation questions help them to be prepared for classroom success, they will start to ask many of the bullet-pointed anticipation questions themselves. How should you prepare for tomorrow’s test? will in time become, How should I prepare for tomorrow’s test?  When your child starts to anticipate what is needed for academic success and prepares accordingly, they will be taking greater responsibility for their own learning and greater results will follow as they move forward with their education.

For many specific examples of how to build a solid academic foundation using Open-ended, Follow-up, and anticipation questions, please review Challenge your Child.

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