KinderGals: Developing Higher Order Questions

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Developing Higher Order Questions

Ever find yourself not really knowing what kinds of questions to ask your kids? I mean, like you just read a story and you want to ask some really good questions. How do you get past, “Who are the characters? What is the setting? What happened first, next, and last?”
Several years ago our school decided we wanted to get better at asking questions. It was our “project” for the year. We spent some time during our planning visiting other classrooms to tally the questions the teacher was asking. I know, I know…you don’t want anyone to listen to you when you are trying to ask questions much less tally them! But, really it wasn’t like that AT ALL! We had picked the project, we ALL knew we needed to improve. Then, we went to work. We posted Bloom’s Taxonomy where we could all see it—more for us than for the kids. We made flip books, dice, spinners, rings…. Then, at the end of the year we visited those same classrooms! WOW! What a difference!
Here’s what I took away from that experience---
  • First, I did get better at asking questions.
  • Second, when you have a focus you can see improvement.
  • Thirdly, you need a plan.
  • But, most importantly….it is okay not to know! It’s just not ok to not do anything about the fact that you don’t know.
Recently, I was working in a school district in Louisiana. They wanted me to work with the teachers on this very thing! They each had a bag of supplies and we went to work!

Questions for Reading Books

First we made these sticks. You can put these sticks in a can. Then, after you read a story, any story, you can pull a question from the can to ask the kids.
You can download the reading questions as a free download at the bottom of this post.

Questions for Math

One “eye opening” thing that we did was to read the questions and sort them by the levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  It wasn’t the sorting, per say, that was the most helpful…it was the discussion. It made us to start thinking about the levels and what kinds of questions would be at each.
Then, we made a flip book for our Math Questions. You can download these at the bottom of this blog post.


Questions for Centers

The last thing we made was a ring of questions we could use during the share time after literacy centers. These questions are part of Centers Made Simple Unit 2.
Here’s a peek at Kristie’s week:
You can download the plans here.
We loved making the Pet Glyph last year. Here are a few pictures:
Reading the glyph to make our dogs.
Made our own little books to analyze our data.
Made a class chart to analyze the data of the class. This unit has all the things you need to make this craftivity.

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