- Bringing Project Based Learning to our Classroom - August 12, 2018
- Keep the Engagement Alive: Start the Year with Purpose - August 5, 2018
- It's Our Fault: A Teacher's Confession - March 18, 2018
- Keeping Your Teaching Real: A Teacher's Role - March 11, 2018
- Sketch Notes in the Elementary Classroom - February 15, 2017
- Teach From the Heart - February 9, 2017
- Who is the Teacher: School or Family? - January 11, 2017
- Dear President Elect Trump, From Your Teachers - November 17, 2016
- Let them Be Children - October 21, 2016
- Print Resources: Great Tools for Kids - October 17, 2016
“To be or not to be, that is the question” -- William Shakespeare.
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As the school year ends and we move into summer there are things we do as educators and that involves reflecting and thinking about our next school year. For some of you, it is the end of a path if you are retiring or moving out of your classroom. For some of you, it is a crossroad if you are changing grade levels or subject content or districts. For me, it is a continuation of my path in fourth grade. As I reflect on the past year I always begin to question and think about what I need to do better. What works? What needs refined? How will I implement Common Core Standards with integrity? What will I do differently? What will I do the same?
This past year our school read Habits of Mind. At first I thought, great. Now there will be another thing to squeeze into an already tight schedule. But as I have made myself read and learn more about this philosophy I am finding it rewarding to implement, model, and teach habits of mind to my fourth graders. I am excited to use this next year from the beginning of the year to support my classroom environment and develop our community.
With my students I plan to teach the habits through our literature and through community building activities during the beginning of the year. Here are some activities you can use to teach questioning to your students. I have my fourth graders do these individually. You can do this during reading group centers, as a writing assignment, for whole group lessons, or however works into your classroom schedule and curriculum.
1. Define the word question. Draw a picture and write a definition in your own words. Define the word problem. Draw a picture and write a definition in your own words. Compare how these words are similar and different.
2. Give examples of questions characters have in the book you are reading. Reference the page that supports the examples. Give examples of problems characters have in the book you are reading. Reference the page that supports the examples.
3. Write a list of thought-provoking questions for the main character in a book you are reading. Answer them as if you were the character.
4. Make a list of the natural resources available in your state. List possible problems using these natural resources. What are some possible solutions?
5. Research Bloom’s Taxonomy of Thinking. Write a list of questions to the President of the United States using one stem from each level of questioning.
6. Design a poster to explain and illustrate this habit of mind—Asking Questions and Posing Problems.
7. Make a list of questions about a current unit or topic of study to be used as a review game. Provide answers for each question.
8. Sort the questions you created for the review in activity (#7) into Bloom’s Taxonomy of Thinking. Add questions to the upper three levels (application, evaluation, and synthesis).
9. Make a list of questions you have about science. Where could you find answers to these questions? Make a list of questions you have about math, the human brain, how we learn, or government. Who could you interview to find answers to these questions?
10. Create a poster to explain Bloom’s Taxonomy of Thinking. Explain each level and provide an example question or idea.
Questioning is part of the everyday life of a teacher. This summer, as you reflect on the next step in your journey, think about how you will incorporate questioning into your classroom. How will you teach your students this important skill? How will you model questioning? Check out the Habits of Mind website. They have useful things for teachers, a weekly email, printable pdf items and more. As you prepare for next year, think of the questions you have and enjoy the questions your students will bring. Questions everything, it is how we learn.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]