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5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners

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. How to Encourage Questioning 1. Asking a question can be a scary step into the void. 2. This is a tough one. 3. Part of the appeal of “questions-only” exercises is that there’s an element of play involved, as in: Can you turn that answer/statement into a question? 4. 5. If the long-term goal is to create lifelong questioners, then the challenge is to make questioning a habit -- a part of the way one thinks.

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10 Qualities Every Human Being Should Have “I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it.” ~ Audrey Hepburn If you ask me, there are certain qualities each and every human being should have. Qualities that have the power to help each and every one of us to connect with our own selves and the world around us at a deeper level. Creating a Growth Mindset in Your Students Belief that you can become smarter and more talented opens the doorways to success. That’s what twenty years of research has shown Carol Dweck of Stanford University. She has identified two opposing beliefs about intelligence and talent, beliefs that strongly impact our ability to learn. Though the fixed mindset has traditionally held sway, many recent studies show that the growth mindset better represents our abilities. Our brains are much more elastic than previously thought, constantly growing new connections.

A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice Ask teachers to describe the impact they hope to have on their students, and most will eventually say something along these lines: I want my students to grow into responsible citizens. I want my students to participate in society in an active, productive way. And maybe: I want my students to change the world. But how many of us know how to make that happen, really? Can we explicitly teach students how to change the world? If this question has been whispering in the back of your mind, the resources in this collection will help. 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.

6 Steps to Help Students Find Order in Their Thinking Like magic, the fish turn into birds and then back into fish. M.C. Escher's tessellations have a way of grabbing your attention and forcing your mind to make sense of the impossible figures on the paper. The Merriam dictionary describes tessellations as, "a covering of an infinite geometric plane without gaps or overlaps by congruent plane figures of one type or a few types."

Why the Growth Mindset is the Only Way to Learn “You’re too old to learn a foreign language.” “I couldn’t work on computers. I’m just not good with them.” “I’m not smart enough to run my own business.” Do you know what these statements have in common? Three Effective Techniques for Brainstorming Ideas One of the most important skills for succeeding in school and in the workplace is coming up with new and creative ideas. The best ideas are the ones that solve problems or make our lives easier. While taking action is extremely important,l, without good ideas, those actions are ultimately good for nothing.

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.

A Taxonomy of Reflection: A Model for Critical Thinking My approach to staff development (and teaching) borrows from the thinking of Donald Finkel who believed that teaching should be thought of as “providing experience, provoking reflection.” He goes on to write, … to reflectively experience is to make connections within the details of the work of the problem, to see it through the lens of abstraction or theory, to generate one’s own questions about it, to take more active and conscious control over understanding. ~ From Teaching With Your Mouth Shut Over the last few years I’ve led many teachers and administrators on classroom walkthroughs designed to foster a collegial conversation about teaching and learning. The walkthroughs served as roving Socratic seminars and a catalyst for reflection. But reflection can be a challenging endeavor.

7 Wonderful TED Talks on Learning from Failure To err is human and acknowledging one's mistakes is the first step towards learning not to do them again. The best thing about making mistakes is the learning that comes out of them. Mistakes are indicative of an ongoing healthy process of learning. We all make mistakes and sometimes we even commit errors ( errors are considered to be much more severe than mistakes ) but we definitely differ in the way we look at our mistakes. Sir Ken Robinson: Creativity Is In Everything, Especially Teaching From Creative Schools by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica, published April 21, 2015, by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright by Ken Robinson, 2015. Creative Teaching

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? 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About 197 Educational YouTube Channels You Should Know About If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons. These channels allow instructors to share information and blend media in unprecedented and exciting new ways.