Professional Learning: Questioning

A Teacher's Ponderings

Over the few years, I have struggled more and more with students who seemingly are unable/unable to make decisions for themselves.  If the answer or next step is not overtly obvious, then they don’t make the next move.  I have become more deliberate in providing very clear directions and asking them questions to get them thinking for themselves.  One of the most powerful questions I have started asking is, “Is that a reasonable step/response/thought?”

Here are some things I found online about questions.

BtFB33yCMAA023-https://twitter.com/lancefuhrer/statuses/491246263812489218

#1. What do you think?

This question interrupts us from telling too much. There is a place for direct instruction where we give students information yet we need to always strive to balance this with plenty of opportunities for students to make sense of and apply that new information using their schemata and understanding.

#2. Why do you think that?

After students share what they think…

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Professional Learning: Questioning

Over the few years, I have struggled more and more with students who seemingly are unable/unable to make decisions for themselves.  If the answer or next step is not overtly obvious, then they don’t make the next move.  I have become more deliberate in providing very clear directions and asking them questions to get them thinking for themselves.  One of the most powerful questions I have started asking is, “Is that a reasonable step/response/thought?”

Here are some things I found online about questions.

 

BtFB33yCMAA023-https://twitter.com/lancefuhrer/statuses/491246263812489218

#1. What do you think?

This question interrupts us from telling too much. There is a place for direct instruction where we give students information yet we need to always strive to balance this with plenty of opportunities for students to make sense of and apply that new information using their schemata and understanding.

#2. Why do you think that?

After students share what they think, this follow-up question pushes them to provide reasoning for their thinking.

#3. How do you know this?

When this question is asked, students can make connections to their ideas and thoughts with things they’ve experienced, read, and have seen.

#4. Can you tell me more?

This question can inspire students to extend their thinking and share further evidence for their ideas.

#5. What questions do you still have?

This allows students to offer up questions they have about the information, ideas or the evidence.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/five-powerful-questions-teachers-ask-students-rebecca-alber

 

Caine’s Arcade

This morning, I worked on planning part of my unit that is focused on persuasion.  I knew that I wanted my students to work in partners to create a print advertisement as part of their work, but I didn’t know what I wanted to use as a base for the learning activity.  Then, I remembered the YouTube video, Caine’s Arcade.  My students are going to love Caine and creating an advertisement for his arcade.  I am excited to get to this point in the unit!

Professional Learning: 6 Ways to Inspire the Teen Brain

This article, “6 Ways to Inspire the Teen Brain,” is pretty short, but it gives lots of information.  I knew that the teenage brain went through many changed, but I didn’t know that it undergoes more changes during the teen years than any other time other than the first couple of months of life.  No wonder teens can be all over the place.  It also describes the effects of changes to the frontal lobe which is responsible for reasoning, planning, judgement, higher-level thinking skills, etc.  No wonder teens often make questionable decisions.

 

Here are the 6 ideas provided in the article.

  • “Teach your teen to conceive many unique interpretations of movies, books, political discussions, unsettling school or peer issues, or works of art.”
  • “Encourage your youth to be a problem finder and solution setter for issues that arise daily and discuss how academic content supports this expertise.”
  • “Ask your teenager to give you a “message” from a book or movie or hurtful experience rather than a long-winded retell without reflection.”
  • “Have your adolescent interpret the lyrics of their favorite song from positive and negative perspectives and do the same for your song with them.”
  • “Watch their favorite TV show with them and share different take-home messages for the different characters.”
  • “Push for a multitude of answers to a question or problem versus seeking the “right” answer.”

 

Just something to keep in mind…

 

50% of Teachers Leave Education After 5 Years

How sad. To spend the time and money it takes to become a teacher only to leave after 5 years. The impact on school districts are great, financially and staffing. Maybe there needs to be a greater focus on induction and retention. I remember a time early in my career where I was ready to quit Articleif I wasn’t able to switch schools. Luckily, I was able to make the switch because I love being in the classroom.

So true…

As teachers, we must remember what is important to help students know, understand, and be able to do…

 

Critical Thinking Skills

 

 

 

critical thinking skillsDon’t most teachers agree that one of the most important skills we can help our students develop is critical thinking?  Is believing this enough or do we have deliberate in our lesson design to do this successfully?

Resources and Downloads for Teaching Critical Thinking

The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher Order Competencies

New (School) Year Resolutions

I came across this post on a blog I read and thought it would be interesting to have students write New Year Resolutions at the start of the school year.  This will be a great way for students to start their year off on the right foot.

Thanks for the idea. http://edtosavetheworld.com/2014/08/18/5-resolutions-for-the-new-year/

A Wet Route to School

India Swimming to School Photo GalleryI wonder if my students find enough value in what happens in my class each day to do this in order to come to school. My goal is to create experiences for them and to build relationships with them and to provide meaning in what we do so that they would be willing to do this just to come to class.  

A Wet Route to School