Monday, March 10, 2014

Asking Good Questions

If you have been teaching for awhile, you know that each class has its own personality.  Mine LOVE to ask each other questions. 

I discovered this when I set out the class meeting agenda.  In other years, students write problems on the agenda and we solve them as a class.  I have posted my process for this in an earlier post.

This year, I usually have one or two problems and a whole list of questions to discuss.  We have talked about what makes a good question for class meeting.  It usually comes down to: how many students can participate?

We live just north of Seattle and as the Seahawks made the playoffs and started their progress to the Super Bowl, I had a list of questions like:

Who is your favorite running back?
Who is your favorite quarter back?
Who is your favorite defensive end?
Did you watch the game this weekend?
Who do you think will win the Super Bowl?

We had to come up with rules for the questions.  You couldn't ask a question someone had just asked.  You had to ask a question that others might have some knowledge about.  Better questions gave us something to discover about one another.

I was very surprised when most of my students could answer the question: what is your favorite Minecraft Youtube video?  Who knew that was a good discussion question?

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