Asking Better Questions

flickr photo by Steve Corey http://flickr.com/photos/stevecorey/20177350301 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

flickr photo by Steve Corey http://flickr.com/photos/stevecorey/20177350301 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license 

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. – Voltaire

Over at informED, writer Saga Briggs explores ways to ask better questions of ourselves. Suggestions include replace mission statements with questions and recognize and confront your biases.

“There’s plenty of literature on how to ask other people questions, but what about directing questions to ourselves? We can ask our students all the tricky questions we can think of, hoping to boost their critical thinking skills, but the ability to ask questions oneself–rather than just answering them–separates true learners from the rest.

Of course, this is similar to something like the Socratic method, where a series of questions help you reveal what you think about an argument or idea. Regardless of how you approach it, the end goal is to learn to think critically and analyze everything. As we’ve seen before, it’s important to always ask yourself why something is important and how it connects to things to you already know. As you do that, you train your brain to make connections between ideas and think critically about more information you come across.”

Read the entire piece, including 12 tips, here

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Questions to Spark Reflective Thinking

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo by Gnal: http://flickr.com/photos/gnal/78104681

Angela Stockman recently wrote a great post about reflection. She ends it with ten reflective questions to ask at the end of class:

“1. Reflect on your thinking, learning, and work today. What were you most proud of?

2. Where did you encounter struggle today, and what did you do to deal with it?

3. What about your thinking, learning, or work today brought you the most satisfaction? Why?

4. What is frustrating you? How do you plan to deal with that frustration?

5. What lessons were learned from failure today?” Read the post and entire list here.

MindShift ~ Another Great Blog about Learning

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Photo Credit: Viewminder via Compfight cc

If you haven’t stumbled on Mindshift during your professional learning travels, you should definitely check it out. Mindshift was launched in 2010 by KQED and NPR and it “explores the future of learning in all its dimensions, covering cultural and technology trends, innovations in education, groundbreaking research, education policy, and more.”

Here are two excellent and popular articles from their site:

Beyond Knowing Facts, How Do We Get to a Deeper Level of Learning? & What Meaningful Reflection On Student Work Can Do for Learning.

Photocard for Student Reflections

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Source: Jessica Johnson’s Tweets

That’s a screenshot I took last weekend when I spent a few minutes exploring my Twitter feed.

If you haven’t used it before, Photocard is a free app and a great tool for having students share their first trimester reflections. If you are interested in trying it out, here are two quick reads about how to use it (one & two) and examples of how a school uses it can be found here.