October 25, 2014

Asking Questions (Blog Digest)

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Before, during, and (presumably) after the Common Core State Standards, thoughtful educators have worked to refine the questions they ask students. Questioning plays a central role with the Common Core, from connecting questions to texts or letting students do more of the thinking work. The following posts touch on a variety of aspects of questioning.

Asking “Good” Questions
The hallmark of a good question is that it gives readers something to think about and allows them to stay with the text and notice things that they didn’t notice previously.  In this post we explore and question what really make a question “good.”

Old Habits Die Hard
One of the reasons for asking text-based questions is to train students that answers are not something you “know” but rather “seek” using the four corners of the text. This post addresses students’ habits of looking up rather than looking down.

Shift Four: Text-Based Answers or Text-Based Responses? Part 1
Shift Four: Text-Based Questions or Text-Based Responses? Part 2
While surely text-based questions train students to look back into the text in order to formulate their answers, in this series we question whether it’s answers or responses that we seek from students.  We invoke reading standard number four and explore the connotative meanings of these words to help us explore what it is we’re really going for when changing the way we question students.

What Do Learners Need: Cognitively Challenging Work
In this post, we circle back around to the idea posited in “Asking Good Questions” that it’s not just about asking questions that can be answered using the text, it’s about asking questions that really allow students to dig in and think about what they are reading.

Essential Questions
In this post, we move away from our conversation about text-based questions and address the need to formulate and think about bigger questions, essential questions, to prompt deep, intellectual exploration. 

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