5 Powerful Questions

Monday, September 29, 2014

     Edutopia had a great blog post about asking simple questions that can get deeper responses from our students.  Here is a link to the complete article by Rebecca Alber.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

#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.

Simple Questions for great responses.  Perfect!
When I thought a little more, though, I realized that those simple questions do not have to be just for the students to answer.  So often I have conversations with teachers about what they "need" to do.  Somewhere, somehow, our classrooms can become run not by the students and their needs, but by the fear of pleasing others.  
So, I ask you, as the teacher...

What do you think?

Why do you think that?

How do you know this?

Can you tell me more?

What questions do you still have?

I have one more that I would like to ask, though.  Here is one that could work with the students, too, but it might be harder for them.  Here goes:

Is it reasonable? (or, restated... Could it be possible?)

We make so many excuses every day.  Just today, I made excuses about going to the park because it was TOO HOT.  Here we are, at the beginning of October with an 80 degree day, and I told my son and daughter that it was TOO HOT.  Shame on me.  It was totally possible.  But I was tired, and was exhausted.  It was easier to say "no."  It should have been possible.  

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!