Asking questions

I’m still cogitating on AFLA 2014. It might be a while before I quit, because as the research on PD suggests, if I don’t use new information soon, I will forget to even try to use it and I’ll sink back into old ruts.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m using Bryce Hedstrom’s Persona Especial for a period every day in every class. We have found out some interesting things, including that some kids think it’s perfectly okay to drive without a license. I’m taking steps on that one, but they have to be subtle or kids will stop sharing.

While I’m using these conversations both to learn about kids and to get lots of repetition on certain structures, I realize that I’m also doing most of the asking. That’s fine, except that I also want my students to know how to ask the questions when they meet someone. Paul Sandrock suggested giving kids a set of questions about a topic and putting them into an envelope, which the kids can draw out if they run out of questions to ask. Then they get to keep track of how many questions they can ask, losing (game points?) if they have to draw a question. I think I’m going to try this with the intermediate kids, giving them the questions that we’ve been using in class as a base set.

The tricky part will be the follow-up questions. If a student has a brother, the other has to ask whether he works or goes to school, and then where, and so on. I’m going to have to think about how to handle that. Maybe putting in some chunks of questions would work.

My other idea was to have them ask about students we’ve already interviewed, so that they would be prepared to give information about another person, say, a family member.


2 responses to “Asking questions

  1. Thank you for sharing these insights. It is sooooooo easy and productive to share with our students being the source of input, while getting meaningful output. I used to do it as an exercise at the end of most units. They interviewed each other, but now I am considering in doing it more frequently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pretty excited about doing this. The more times we can repeat the same information in different, interesting ways, the better it is for the kids. I wish we could all watch one another’s classes at length, because everyone has little twists they don’t recognize as special that can change up the action in others’ classrooms. Bryce said he has a student welcome visitors, but he liked how my “Welcomer” explained her job and brought him into the life of the class. To me, that didn’t seem unusual. And just hearing about his and Betsy’s classes, I got ideas. Imagine if I could go watch them!


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