Asking good questions is an important way to see what your students are thinking and to get them to move forward in their ability to justify their answers.

There is a great article that was published in the NCTM journal, Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School.  It's called:

The article talks about two ways of asking questions.  Funneling (not so great) and Focusing (better!).  Here is my interpretation of the main theme of their article:

My Example of Funneling:

Teacher- What is 12 x 6
Student- I don’t know
Teacher- Well, what is 6 times 2?
Student- 12
Teacher- Put down the 2 and carry the one
Teacher- What is 6 times 1?
Student- 6
Student- 7
Teacher- So, what is 12 x 6?

My Example of Focusing:
Teacher- How can we multiply 12 x 6?
Student- I don’t know.
Teacher- Well, what do you know about multiplication?
Teacher- Okay, so what could you do?
Student- Well, I know 5-twelves is 60.
Teacher- So, tell me more about that...
Student- So I guess I just need one more 12 added to 60,  That would be 72.
Teacher- Great, are there any other methods we could use to get the answer?