Our school district returned on January 2 to begin a new semester, and our first day back was one with a focus on professional development. At my school, four sessions were offered for our faculty that touched on each area of our school improvement plan. My principal asked me to lead a session on helping students formulate and dwell in questions to address our goal of nurturing an academically challenging environment. It was a fun day getting to lead and learn with my fellow 6th, 7th, 8th, and Connections teachers in my building. Here is an overview of the 45 minute session I presented four times (one for each grade level/area):
- Learning Activity #1: Question Flood with a “Write-Around” Activity (with chart/tablet paper and markers) Using HOTS questions with a variety of “texts” across multiple subject areas; teachers worked with their table groups to read their text and collaboratively generate HOTS questions using the HOTS question stems. We also explored how to incorporate HOTS with other mediums, including sticky notes and chart paper or even your dry erase board in your room.
- Activity 2: Three Big Questions (Probst and Beers) with a variety of texts across subject areas; will also share how we used these in our “birds of feather” interest reading clubs. Teachers had an opportunity to practice this with the text set at their table.
- Strategy 3: Developing Deeper Research Questions/Questions for More Inquiry with Question Lenses : I shared how you can use Ann Marlow Riedling’s questions to help students individually or collaboratively use questions lenses to “explode” and explore a topic or text.
Real world examples from my own practice include:A. Example 1: Read more here and here.
B. Example 2: Read more here ; here is a completed student example from Grade 7.
The resource page I shared with teachers is available in this Google Document; the slideshow is embedded in the Google Document as well. I have been thrilled and humbled by the positive feedback and number of teachers from all subject areas who have already implemented these strategies in less than a week!
Here are some scenes from the workshop: