Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blog Post #4

More than often, we think we are doing our peers, or children we interact with, a favor when we ask them questions. We ask questions that make sense to us, and we assume it makes sense to the peer or child. To be productive with a question it must make sense to the person receiving the question, and most of the time that is where we lack effectiveness. I started off with Johnson's Edutopia blog about the right way to ask a question in the classroom. Reading through his ideas got the wheels in my head turning, but I still couldn't figure it out exactly. I kept focusing on what he mentions about the goal of the question, what do we want this child to know/understand from what we are asking? And furthermore, how can we tell if they really do understand?
While pondering on these questions, I decided to check out Weimer's blog: "Three Ways to Ask Better Questions in the Classroom." She included some great tips for educators such as preparing the questions you want to ask, playing with questions in different ways, and preserving good questions, whether from another teacher or even a student! She also includes these questions in her blog, "Is it the question that needs to be asked? When is the best time to ask it?" These questions really stuck with me when I explored another source.
The YouTube video about open ended questions gave me a much clearer idea of what is trying to be taught to educators. The author, Stix, gave some great examples: "For what reasons did the American Revolution begin?" "Generate a list of all the places mold could grow." And that's when I finally got it! These open ended questions allow the students to engage in a deeper thinking and reasoning process instead of being hung up on answering the question exactly right with one short answer. I believe this is the type of approach we as future educators should begin to use. Good teaching begins with good strategy, and good strategy begins with asking ourselves the good questions. I also would like to invite you all to explore Stix's blog because she has some great, outside the box ideas about effective teaching strategies.
cartoon of children in a classroom.


  1. Great post, Shelby! I really like and agree with your last point about the open-ended questions. It really does no good to get students to "burp back" the information we just told them. An open ended question allows them the opportunity to explore the knowledge in their own mind.

    You did a great job with the links in your blog, too. I like how they flow with the sentences and aren't just listed. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thoughtful. Interesting. Keep on learning!