Sometimes I think teachers feel rushed and pressure to cover certain material so rather than asking open ended questions, they rush and ask questions with yes or no or other basic answers. Open Ended Questions 1. Try to stay away from questions that only require a “yes” or “no” answer. I've noticed that when I get excited about a topic, or stop to point out something that a student noticed first, it helps inspire others to observe and wonder. We’re less likely to make assumptions, and instead encourage discussion. recognize that observations and questioning can happen anywhere: yes, taking students outdoors is always great, but if you can't take them out, use the campus, the classroom, the playground - doing I WONDER or I NOTICE or "WHAT, WHERE, WHY THERE, WHY CARE?" Open-ended questions go hand in hand with acting as a co-learner, and providing space for interpretation, not just simple yes or no answers that can create boredom or children not participating for fear of not having the -right- answer. In addition, asking open ended questions is an important consideration. Trending Questions. With outside activities, I agree there is carryover for sure, questions outside can lead to more questions inside, particularly as time goes on. why 2. My students who are looking to get the best grade flounder and fight with this - there's always the right answer to get the grade. Try to get your kids to open up to you, by asking them the easy questions first. In order for questions to occur we need to provide our students with experiences that allow them to observe and wonder about the world around them. Show how all stakeholders that students are engaged in their learning even when it seems like they are just observing and working independently. As a teacher, I have always been aware of the questions that I ask when I am trying to generate discussion and bring about deeper thought on the part of my students. Children will never stop bothering us with their thought-provoking and annoying questions up to and including "write a paper for me. :). Reading comprehension passages and questions for fifth graders. A: I think they want to prove by visiting Boo Radley because they want to get to know more about him. I notice that their attention span becomes significantly lengthened when the have an "Observation Tool". I could do better at asking them some open-ended questions and in turn, guide them to ask their own open-ended questions as possible research starting points. Our students need more time outside to explore, observe and wonder. Explain in detail 3. I think it would also be exciting to explore something that I don't know much about. I agree that taking children outdoors is probably one of the best ways to get students motivated and encourage them to observe and wonder. Good social distancing is enabled and I am feeling more confident in my abilities to use different apps and instructional techniques to maintain focus AND fun. Birds! I agree that learners must feel comfortable and safe in the classroom setting in order to be vunerable and learn that 'I don't know' is a perfectly acceptable answer. How can educators be catalysts for students to observe and wonder? 0. This is as simple as pushing in my chair when I get up to asking good questions (the What? This is crucial for students to feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and questions during activities. I admit that I do struggle with this in science, however. Can an open-ended question have only one correct answer? Some birds prefer individual living, some prefer colonies. For me, this will take practice to develop this habit. Compared with the island’s existing population of medium ground finches, the invaders had an advantage: large beaks that could more efficiently crack open the seeds of the Jamaican feverplant, one of the island’s biggest bird food bounties. It is also important to teach students we don't always find the answers to their questions but can continue to investigate and learn more throughout the year. It helps them believe that their ideas are valid and worth investigating. When we have hatched eggs in an incubator in the past, I would try to get different colors and sizes of eggs to bring up questions. I realized that when I named a particular animal or plant, it sort of stopped the learning process that could happen if time were allowed to make observations and share them. Then we can discuss ways to figure out how to answer their curiosities. Open-ended questions have great value but those young children will need the modeling and guidance from their teachers to avoid frustration. What students have taught me over the years: These are great tips for both formal and informal educators. This is great practice for the math standard of counting by 100's, especially since it repeats over and over for each of the animal groups. Last year, our Science units were organized around an anchoring phenomenon, which took at natural phenomenon such as the Great Dust Bowl or a Mars Biosphere and asked students to complete a See Think Wonder Chart. I agree with your idea of creating a class culture where questioning guides instruction. Teachers also need to act excited to be excited - curiosity and excitement are contagious. One of the after-school programs that I offer is for 5 and 6 grade students. I can point things out, but keep everything open-ended to allow for further discussion and inquiry. 0000004417 00000 n The field day is spent at a local nature preserve called the Dwass Kill and Usher’s Road State Forest, we invite local scientists to help students along the way and talk about their research. Holding back allows students to make observations and try to figure things out, while we provide tools along the way. The kids have fun counting and don't even realize that this is part of the math standard. The following questions were answered by zoo biologist Ellen Dierenfeld and entomologists John VanDyk and Steve Kutcher. I think that if I "position youth as people who do science" I can build their confidence and we can work together as a team of scientists rather than a class and a teacher! One way we can be catalysts for students to observe and wonder, I think, is by making learning a "we" process. Where am I feeling drawn to explore? In fact, it's even desirable! Kids and animals – they go together so well! From the Winter 2019 issue of Living Bird magazine. They spot birds' nests camouflaged, follow sounds to discover a woodpecker making a home in a tree, wonder why a hawk is flying around, why a flock of birds fly on the ground and then into a tree and do it again, why birds flock to our grounds after a rainy day, and which plants attract butterflies and bees in our own garden of native plants. 0000014943 00000 n The idea was that students would refer back to their wonders throughout the unit to see if they were able to answer the wonders based on what we had learned during our labs, our learning, etc. What are the names of the two feuding families? I believe the first step for educators to be catalysts for students is to get them out of their seats, observing and wondering. Students need to hear this modeled to know what it might sound like and know it's ok, and beneficial to not always know the answers. Students then see the teacher as a resource versus the person who "knows it all." I will be more conscious going forward to ask for 'I wonder' questions before we head out anywhere, and ask questions rather than offer answers as we move along. Sometimes students don't understand how to ask a question. I love the lemon lesson idea, because it got at the heart of making very close observations, not general ones. In the beginning of the year, I like to do simple activities to help students reflect on their abilities to observe well. You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic. Ideally providing exposure and opportunities to observe, possibly pointing out some things of potential interest (anything from “Look at that!” to open-ended questions), asking guiding/exploratory questions, and providing time for reflection. Then with this, it would encourage students to ask more questions and not feel that they may be wrong in their answer, way of thinking, or that they have a "stupid" question, and would allow them to be more of a "free thinker", be more interested in all aspects of learning and how to find answers themselves. Give each student post-it-notes to write their own questions to add to the I Wonder board. Each child has an iPad, but team work seems to produce more results. Kids and animals – they go together so well! I feel like in school kids are used to closed questions where there is one right answer. 0000001082 00000 n I have found that if the teachers are excited about going out into the field, the students feed off that excitement. Nature is has many unknowns for children. Open-ended questions about friendship. Asking the open-ended question is only half of the scenario in being catalysts for students to observe and wonder, the other half is to allow "wait time" or "think time." 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