Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blog Post 4

The Right Way to Ask Questions in the Classroom

I was immensely fascinated by this article as well as enlightened by the substantive information presented. Principal Johnson's idea that teachers are not the sole possessors of knowledge and information is completely accurate. I think it's important for students to be engaged in classroom discussion without feeling humiliated. I like the idea of a teacher randomly calling on a student and waiting three seconds for an answer. Randomly calling on students is a method I believe to be effective because it encourages and motivates all students to participate in classroom discussion. As educators, we must understand that our students bring their own knowledge, skills, and values into the classroom, and it's pivotal that we embrace those traits and use them in the curriculum. I don't like the look of a student feeling alienated from classroom discussions. So my proposal is to educate my class in a project based method. This allows me to evaluate my students' performance.

Asking Questions to Improve Learning

I learned some valuable information from this article. I like the idea of not asking a student more than one question. From my own personal experience, I prefer brainstorming my answer without the thought of being overwhelmed with another question. I also think it's important for an educator not to wait until the period is almost over to ask his or her class if they have any questions. As an educator, it's vital to plan your lessons accordingly and to be consciously aware of the time. I believe it's important to respond to your students in a way that is beneficial to them. I also like the idea of not interrupting a student before they have thoroughly answered the question. Every student learns differently, and it's key that we allow them enough time to share their thoughts and ideas. I also believe in the concept of having your students elaborate their answers and provide an illustration.

Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom

I was very intrigued by this article and the concept of playing with questions. As an educator, it's important for us to challenge our students to explore their creative thinking. I am fascinated by the idea of presenting a challenging question before the lesson begins. This allows students to ponder the question throughout the lesson, so it allows students ample time to explore ideas and opinions on the topic. From my own personal experience, I didn't like when teachers would just bloviate or pontificate the entire class period without once asking a challenging question. I have already expressed by distaste for worksheets in a previous blog post.

Asking better questions in the classroom

Ms. Joanne did an excellent job of articulating the difference between an open-ended question, as opposed to a closed-ended question. As educators, we should be asking productive types of questions to our students. A closed-ended question does not invite the student to engage in meaningful discussion. The answers given usually are "yes", "no", or "I think so". An open-ended question allows a student to open up their closed minds. This also allows a student to express their thoughts and ideas in a meaningful discussion. It's essential for students to spend some time in thought and reflection. As educators, we want our students to come into the classroom with an observant mindset, as opposed to an obstinate mindset.

Questioning Styles and Strategies

This particular video captivated my attention and provided me with some clear and concise techniques to use inside of the classroom. The instructor talked to the class about the book Bridge to Terabithia. One method in particular I enjoyed was when the instructor randomly called on a student and instructed him to demonstrate the movements of the creature. I believe it's imperative for a teacher to engage their students in discussion. I also enjoyed when the instructor gave meaningful feedback to one of the students. This technique is valuable because it encourages the student as well as makes them feel appreciated. One technique the instructor presented was for the students to draw the city of Terabithia. This method is very productive because it allows students to express their artistic skills. It also gives students the ability to explore their imagination, as well as their creative thinking.
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  1. Wow, you really gave this a whole lot of thought, huh? Kudos. I agree with what you say, though I do disagree with your opinion on worksheets. While I certainly don't believe all lessons should be taught via worksheets and that, as a teacher, you should always seek to get your students really involved in the lesson, I will admit that worksheets do have their uses, when used sparingly.

  2. Good job. Using equity sticks during whole group discussion is a great way to keep students on their toes. There's an app for that- StickPick- if you use an iPad in the classroom. Equity sticks are popsicle sticks that have a student's name on each one. You keep them in a cup and pull at random.

  3. C4C # 4
    Hello Mr. Taylor, I have been assigned to comment on your blog.
    “I was immensely fascinated by this article as well as enlightened by the substantive information presented. Principal Johnson's idea that teachers are not the sole possessors of knowledge and information is completely accurate.”
    I too agree with this statement, and we as educators should not be scared to allow children to share and elaborate while discussing material from the lesson as well as background knowledge beforehand. The use of good questioning/answering becomes pivotal when creating a democratic atmosphere in the classroom during discussion time. Community discussion within the classroom is a skill that must be practiced and in time, the product could become effective questions/answers akin to the examples featured in the last video you examined from the ThoughtfulClassroom, Good job discussing what and how we should ask questions.