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Frank commented on Teach Children to Ask Their Own Questions

Effective questioning is at the heart of good inquiry based learning. As a Principal leading an inquiry school, I have been working carefully with teachers to develop their capacity to ask good questions. Part of our evolving success is our ability to evaluate and classify the questions we are asking. I often start with teachers by simply counting the types of questions that are asked and I use a 4-category classifcation scheme: Knowledge/comprehension (lower order) asked by teacher; Higher order asked by teacher; Knowledge/comprehension (lower order) asked by student; Higher order asked by student. (We also developed an iOS app to collect the data: Classroom Questioning Recorder). In general, the data shows about 80% of questions asked by teachers and 30% of those are HOTS - The trick is to get kids asking more questions. When we purposefully examine practice and have a way to measure it, we can start that transition. In terms of scaffolding good question asking, I tend to point teachers towards the Bloom's taxonomy framework and use graphic organizers that have different starters/terminology for those types questions. (This has also successfully been shared with students). One thing we know, is that when teachers PLAN for effective questioning, they generally ask more meaningful questions. Also, listening for talk is a good indicator - if responses to questions are short phrases or single words, these are generally lower order. While if question responses include elaboration, evidence, details... they are more likely to be HOTS. I encourage teachers to purposefully plan several questions over the course of a lesson that are HOTS. When student dialogue includes them - we are certainly empowering the inquiry mind. From an inquiry perspective, when students are brainstorming questions, they can also be classified into investigable and univestigable. Univestigables are important because there still is ideation occurring. Uninvestigables that are interesting can also be refined. My conclusion: good coaching, good planning: better question development by kids.

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