|I made a post-it question board for the|
first day of school so that the kids could ask
questions anonymously. This was my favourite.
As I updated the class blog this morning, I realized that I automatically started by listing "activities" from the week. I went back to edit the entry and, below the activities, added a list of the big questions that we discussed this week:
- What kind of classroom community do we want? How should we treat one another in class? What do we expect of one another?
- What makes a good writer?
- What can an artifact tell us about a person, place, or time period?
- What would future civilizations assume about us if they found an artifact from today?
- Where do we see math in the real world?
- What do humans need in order to survive?
I am trying to embed "big questions" into every subject area, lesson, and day in order to begin building a culture of curiosity, big ideas, and good questioning. At the same time, I hope to use these guiding questions to focus our discussions and learning. I would like to use the class blog to keep parents involved in our questions as I hope that conversations from class will carry on at home.
Already, my favourite questions to ask my students are:
- Why are we learning / talking about / doing this?
- Why is this important? Is this important?
- How does this apply to life outside of school? Where will you use it?
- If something is only useful in school, should we be learning it?
I feel like these questions are already setting the stage for the practical skills that inquiry learning supports. As well, incorporating student choice into our introductory activities is setting the tone that I'm not there to be a dictator; I am in the class to support my students' learning.