Trying to be intentional about questioning and modeling is really making me rethink how I am approaching my teaching. It has shifted my thought process to more of a how do I teach the DCI’s through the SEP’s. What a shift it has been.

Questioning – My students were given a task of developing one or two questions about climate change. What a wide open topic? I was prepared for them to have some great, deep questions. I collated all their questions into one document (without names) and passed it out to the students. Then I gave them the Practice One sheet from Appendix F (took out the grade bands and called them group 1 and so on). The task I gave the students was to read the bands (I know it isn’t in kid friendly language but I wanted them to see/struggle with it) and to try to categorize their questions. They struggled with the bands and I helped them to understand a bit more of the language that was used. Then we started talking about where they thought the questions fell. They were sure they were high level questions but when we really started to dig into them, they saw that they were on the lower end. Now you might think that they were upset about that but we came together and agreed that if we focus on the types of questions we ask, they will get better.

Students really haven’t been given the chance to ask many questions. The system really hasn’t required this task from them. The teachers have asked and the students have answered. I am in love with this focus to force the students to begin to ask questions. I fully believe if the students ask better questions, it will only improve all the other practices.

Modeling – I am working on introducing this practice to my students. The plan is unfolding in this manner. We have talked about what constitutes a model. Pretty much their initial reaction was it was something that had to be built (legos, clay, diorama). It was interesting to see that many of them never mentioned a diagram or picture as a model. I was not surprised thought that no one mentioned a math equation as a model. Now, where do I go with this task. The plan will be to give them a task to model something and see where they take it. All I am going to tell them is what I want from the model and not how the model is put together. I am hoping that there will be different types of models that come in to class.

This is a great adventure that we are on right now and we have to work together. Let me know what you all think about the plan listed above. I would love to see some discussion going on!