Questioning Toolkit Essential Questions These are questions which touch our hearts and souls. They are central to our lives. Most important thought during our lives will center on such essential questions. What does it mean to be a good friend? If we were to draw a cluster diagram of the Questioning Toolkit, Essential Questions would be at the center of all the other types of questions. All the other questions and questioning skills serve the purpose of "casting light upon" or illuminating Essential Questions. Most Essential Questions are interdisciplinary in nature. Essential Questions probe the deepest issues confronting us . . . complex and baffling matters which elude simple answers: Life - Death - Marriage - Identity - Purpose - Betrayal - Honor - Integrity - Courage - Temptation - Faith - Leadership - Addiction - Invention - Inspiration. The greatest novels, the greatest plays, the greatest songs and the greatest paintings all explore Essential Questions in some manner. Why do we have to fight wars?
An ASCD Study Guide for Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom This ASCD Study Guide is designed to enhance your understanding and application of the information contained in Checking for Understanding, an ASCD book written by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey and published in September 2007. You can use the study guide before or after you have read the book, or as you finish each chapter. The study questions provided are not meant to cover all aspects of the book, but, rather, to address specific ideas that might warrant further reflection. Most of the questions contained in this study guide are ones you can think about on your own, but you might consider pairing with a colleague or forming a study group with others who have read (or are reading) Checking for Understanding. Chapter 1: Why Check for Understanding? What are common ways that teachers check for understanding? Chapter 2. What is oral language? Chapter 3: Using Questioning to Check for Understanding Why has questioning been used to assess comprehension for so long?
Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps Educators and students are quickly becoming more comfortable with classroom technology, allowing them to shift from thinking about the technical side of integrating a new tool to focusing on how it improves learning. While the sheer number of education apps is still overwhelming, increasingly teachers have found what works for them and are sticking to them. “The conversations I had were radically different than they were a year ago,” said Michelle Luhtala, the librarian for New Canaan High School and host of an Emerging Tech webinar on edWeb. She tapped her professional learning network of educators, teaching all grades and located all over the country, to share their favorite tech tools. “A year ago people felt like it was this new thing that was so overwhelming,” Luhtala said, “and now it really seems much more comfortable.” Educators have become proficient with their favorite classroom apps and are getting more creative with using them to achieve teaching goals. Epic!
ThinkQuest Every Student Response Strategies | LessonCast True implementation of personalized learning in schools requires a shift in the roles of educators and a shift in educator professional learning. This course examines the evolving role of teachers incorporating personalized learning experiences in the classroom. Taking a close look at what personalized learning is and isn’t, participants create resources to support teacher roles as facilitator, assessor, instructional designer, content curator, coach, and advisor, and family-school collaborator. Lessoncast believes in personalized professional learning. While the course opens on July 21 (8:00 am EST), you may register at any time and complete the course activities at your own pace. ::WELCOME:: 4 Strategies to Spark Curiosity British archaeologist Mary Leakey described her own learning as being "compelled by curiosity." Curiosity is the name we give to the state of having unanswered questions. And unanswered questions, by their nature, help us maintain a learning mindset. When we realize that we do not know all there is to know about something in which we are interested, we thirst. We pursue. Strategy One: Equip Students to Ask Questions At its essence, curiosity is asking questions and pursuing answers. We often ask students if they have any questions, but we rarely teach them how to ask advantageous questions. Strategy Two: Provide a Launch Pad Even if students have mastered the full range of question forming, it is difficult to inquire about topics with which they have no familiarity. Strategy Three: Cast a Wide Net During the information gathering phase of learning, the brain does its best work in an active and receptive state. Keep the search active by praising student efforts to discover novelty.
Uses of Exit Slips Robert J. Marzano Exit slips are one of the easiest ways to obtain information about students' current levels of understanding. Effective lessons commonly end with an activity in which students reflect on their experience of the lesson.1 Over the last few years, exit slips have become a popular vehicle to this end. In its simplest form, an exit slip is an index card or piece of paper on which individual students respond to a prompt from the teacher. Four Kinds of Prompts There are at least four types of prompts that teachers can use with exit slips, each having a different intended outcome. Prompts That Provide Formative Assessment Data Exit slips are one of the easiest ways to obtain information about students' current levels of understanding. How would you rate your current level of understanding of what we did today? Although the prompt itself is long, student responses are short and easy to tally. Prompts That Stimulate Student Self-Analysis Prompts That Focus on Instructional Strategies
Events | Quality Matters 7th Annual Conference Wrap Up Thank You for Joining Us Deep in the Heart of Quality… Attendees We had two and a half days packed with great sessions, lots of interaction and great food. Many of you made new friends and explored San Antonio. Then, we ended the conference telling stories around the campfire. Presenters We’d like to give a big thank you to all of the presenters who gave of their time and energy to share their ideas, tools, and resources. The Call for Proposals for 2016 in Portland, OR opens soon. Sponsors and Exhibitors Thank you also to the sponsors and exhibitors. Book Fair Donators The QM Gives Back Book Fair raised more than $6100 in proceeds and 275 books were donated to Dorie Miller Elementary School in San Antonio! Continue the momentum of your conference experience by exploring how QM can help with Course Reviews and Professional Development. 2016 QM Regional Conference Call for Presentations Submit by December 16, 2015 Share your experience in: Plan to Attend
Why Ask Why in the Classroom “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -Carl Sagan As an educator I always understood how important asking questions, especially why question was in the classroom. I believe asking questions empowers students to learn and encourages growth. In my classroom, it was an expectation as the students knew I was going to ask why. They were used to hearing me no matter what the subject was ask why. This week, while spending time in classrooms with students one-on-one, I was asking the students why when they answered questions. This made me become conscious of how important asking why questions all the time really is. Below are a few articles about questioning in the classroom. Asking Questions to Improve Learning Highly Effective Questioning in the Classroom Classroom Questions – Types Of Questions, Feedback, Effective Questioning Practices Like this: Like Loading...
Do You Check for Understanding Often Enough with Students? A few months ago, I wrote for Edutopia.org about the power of focusing on a few, high-priority standards as a strategy to improve student learning. Many other elements also need to be in play in a classroom in order to produce the results that we all want to see for our students. To name just a few: The learning environment needs to be one in which students feel respected and safe to take risks; kids need to feel that their learning has a purpose and that the curriculum is relevant to their lives; and students need feedback on their progress -- they need to know what they're trying to accomplish, where they are in relation to the goal, and what they need to do in order to get there. It is the teacher's role to make sure this happens. The Multi-Tasking Teacher Although to be an effective teacher it often feels like you need to be one of those Hindu gods with a dozen arms, I believe that educators do need to hold standards and objectives in one hand and formative assessments in the other.
Blended Learning Workshop The application form for the Winter 2016 workshops will be available November 15. With support from the Office of the Provost, representatives from the Center for Instructional Innovation & Assessment (CIIA), Academic Technology & User Services (ATUS), and Extended Education (EE) conduct these award-winning, intensive workshops to interested instructors entitled Blended/Online Course Development and Design. 5-week Blended/Online Intensive: (Jan. 11-Feb. 10, Mon./Wed. 3-4:30) Exploration of blended/online learning and Canvas tools, alignment of instructional objectives and technological solutions, assignments with rubrics/group/peer review options, online assessments, digital media creation, web conferencing, and lecture capture. 2-week Blended/Online Review: (Feb. 22-Mar. 2, Mon. Each successful participant will receive a stipend and a certificate of completion (see syllabus for additional information and requirements). Restrictions: Applicants must be instructors at WWU.
Beyond Cut-and-Paste Eliminate Topical Research Rituals The first step in fighting against simple cut-and-paste thinking is to gather all teachers together to discuss and adopt a school-wide policy outlawing the assignment of topical research projects. "Students in this school will conduct research on questions of import that require they make answers rather than find them. We will no longer assign topical research or accept papers that are little more than a rehash of other people's ideas and thinking." Replacing Topical Research with Questions of Import Questions of import usually require that students wrestle with difficult challenges and build their own answers rather than relying upon the thinking of others. Example: Which of the following captains was the best at navigation? Captain James Cook Captain Matthew Flinders Captain George Vancouver Captain William Bligh The above question requires the collection and weighing of evidence to substantiate a well-considered judgment. 21st Century Skills 1. 2. 3. 4.
Why Formative Assessments Matter Summative assessments, or high stakes tests and projects, are what the eagle eye of our profession is fixated on right now, so teachers often find themselves in the tough position of racing, racing, racing through curriculum. But what about informal or formative assessments? Are we putting enough effort into these? What Are They? Informal, or formative assessments are about checking for understanding in an effective way in order to guide instruction. They are used during instruction rather than at the end of a unit or course of study. What this means is that if we are about getting to the end, we may lose our audience, the students. We are all guilty of this one -- the ultimate teacher copout: "Are there any questions, students?" Ever assign the big project, test, or report at the end of a unit and find yourself shocked with the results, and not in a good way? To Inform, Not Punish Believe me, I've been there: wanting to punish the lazy, the cocky, the nonchalant. When and How? Exit Slips