Good morning. Welcome to Question 2 of our slow chat dealing with the development of questions to engage and instruct students.
Today my 9th graders are participating in their first Socratic Seminar over Romeo & Juliet. They were to create up to 5 questions based on Blooms and DOK levels- with the majority being open ended higher level thinking questions. Te first seminars can be a bit slow and awkward, but I am looking forward to hearing what they have developed from our discussions and their handouts on the levels of questioning.
I am very interested to hear about your ideas surrounding today’s question and what you do that works in your classroom.
With my 6th graders this is a work in progress. At the beginning of the year I provide these higher order thinking questions and model the process for thinking about and answering them. As we go throughout the year we have regular “Discussion Days” about our civilizations where we all bring questions to the table. At the beginning of the year, most students bring simple questions with just a couple thinking about the higher level questions. As we go throughout the year though, more students are comfortable bringing up and thinking about those questions independently.
It definitely takes time for them to master that way of thinking and to be comfortable posing the questions.
We currently do not discuss these questions and their levels with our students, however, I do see how letting them in on our team discussions would be a great idea. I think that if they knew about the questions and what each level means, they would strive to reach a higher level and better understand what, we as teachers, are looking for with their responses.
I’ve used Costa’s Levels of Questioning with my students as a HW reading check. As the bellringer, they have to write three Level 1, two Level 2, and one Level 3 question on the assigned reading.
Even if no one answers the questions, it’s a) a check that they actually did the reading without just copying someone else’s responses to traditional reading questions and b) it’s a great thinking activity that gets them to higher levels thinking. Of course, it’s makes them more cognizant of the levels of questioning, too!