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5 Powerful Questions Teachers Can Ask Students My first year teaching a literacy coach came to observe my classroom. After the students left, she commented on how I asked the whole class a question, would wait just a few seconds, and then answer it myself. "It's cute," she added. Um, I don't think she thought it was so cute. I think she was treading lightly on the ever-so shaky ego of a brand-new teacher while still giving me some very necessary feedback. So that day, I learned about wait/think time. 5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners The humble question is an indispensable tool: the spade that helps us dig for truth, or the flashlight that illuminates surrounding darkness. Questioning helps us learn, explore the unknown, and adapt to change. That makes it a most precious “app” today, in a world where everything is changing and so much is unknown. And yet, we don’t seem to value questioning as much as we should. For the most part, in our workplaces as well as our classrooms, it is the answers we reward -- while the questions are barely tolerated. To change that is easier said than done.

The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies Irving Sigel devoted his life to the importance of asking questions. He believed, correctly, that the brain responds to questions in ways that we now describe as social, emotional, and cognitive development. Questions create the challenges that make us learn. The essence of Irv's perspective is that the way we ask questions fosters students' alternative and more complex representations of stories, events, and circumstances, and their ability to process the world in a wider range of ways, to create varying degrees of distance between themselves and the basis events in front of them, is a distinct advantage to learning. However, Irv found that schools often do not ask the range of questions children need to grow to their potential. In this column and the next, using the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears, we can learn from Irv about how to improve our question asking so that students learn more from text and from the world around them.

Teaching kids to design questions – one piece at a time Logan loves to touch everything. He asks lots of questions and I love it… even when I can’t answer the questions. Why is the sky blue? How does a dog breathe? 22 Easy Formative Assessment Techniques for Measuring Student Learning I came across Terry Heick’s blog – 10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds – at TeachThought from earlier this year and really enjoyed the formative assessment strategies that he outlined. Using formative assessment techniques in class – or “simple assessments” as Terry calls them – are easy to administer and provide the instant feedback teachers need to identify which students need more help, and then adjust their instruction and lesson plans to help them. Visit Terry’s blog above to get more detail on the following ten formative assessment techniques: 1. New Clothes 2.

Think-Pair-Share Variations Learning is a collaborative venture. The more we can provide opportunities for our students to think, collaborate and learn from each other – the more we are preparing them for their futures! Do you use the strategy Think-Pair-Share in your classroom? The Think-Pair-Share strategy is a three-step collaborative learning structure developed by Dr. Frank Lyman in 1981. 38 Question Starters based on Bloom’s Taxonomy - Curriculet Curriculet is free for teachers and students. Get started here. This is the 2nd post in a series on how to write better curriculets (and literacy curriculum). Our first post can be found here.

20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers 20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers by Miriam Clifford This post has been updated from a 2011 post. There is an age old adage that says “two heads are better than one”. Consider collaboration in recent history: Watson and Crick or Page and Brin (Founders of Google).

8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more If you do fewer teacher-directed activities, that means the kids will naturally do more talking, doesn’t it? Not necessarily. I have often found myself talking almost constantly during group work and student-directed projects because I’m trying to push kids’ thinking, provide feedback, and help them stay on task. Even when the learning has been turned over to the students, it’s still tempting to spend too much time giving directions, repeating important information, and telling students how they did instead of asking them to reflect on their work. Here are 8 ways teachers can talk less and get students talking more:

A Quick Guide To Questioning In The Classroom A Guide to Questioning in the Classroom by TeachThought Staff This post was promoted by Noet Scholarly Tools who are offering TeachThought readers 20% off their entire order at Noet.com with coupon code TEACHTHOUGHT (enter the coupon code after you’ve signed in)! Get started with their Harvard Fiction Classics or introductory packages on Greek and Latin classics. Noet asked us to write about inquiry because they believe it’s important, and relates to their free research app for the classics. This is part 1 of a 2-part series on questioning in the classroom.

Five Tips for Building Strong Collaborative Learning Teachers share successful tactics for helping kids learn from each other with examples from math and English classes. Students at The College Preparatory School often collaborate in groups, as in this math class where students work together to solve a set of geometry problems in the classroom (above), and then work in the same groups on a related project outside (right). Credit: Zachary Fink At The College Preparatory School (College Prep) in Oakland, California, student collaboration happens on a daily basis.

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