Saturday, August 9, 2014

#WeirdEd Week 20 - Asking Questions

Riddle me this, #WeirdEders- What is it that we expect our students to be able to do, but rarely give them a chance to so?
Give up? Because it's too vague to be a good riddle?
Oh no, you know because you can read and you noticed the title of this post? Asking questions, you say? Well done, Dork Knight! You've foiled me once again!

Teachers, whether we admit it or not, operate under a paradox. We have, or the kids think we have, All The Answers. But we don't we know we don't. We also don't want the kids to see us as a fount of all knowledge. We want them to see us as a gateway, a tool, a guide to knowledge. We want them to learn to ask us questions. We want to not give them the answer, but give them the inspiration to go find the answer. Or an answer. Or to write their own answer. How amazing of a feeling is it when a student does something truly original. A new thought, a new question, and new insane, impossible, ridiculous, beautifully original idea?
But those thoughts must start with a question. And questioning, for most people, needs to be taught. We are a curious species but some of us are not natural questioners.
So let's practice questioning. This #WeirdEd(E) will be backwards. Lauren (@LTaylorELA) and I will not be asking questions. We will be providing answers and you must write a question you think connects to that answer in some way. Practicing backtracking is practicing asking Why. The sky is blue. Why? The engine makes the car go. How (I know that's not a Why but it's a question)? Your eyes face forward. Why? I should read He's the Weird Teacher. Why? (A- Because it's awesome. Nathan Fillion riding a comet through a storm of lightning bolts and howling wolves awesome.)
So again, because I know some of you will be confused (yes, this is how I introduce things in class too), we will NOT be asking Qs. We will be giving As and you provide the Q.
Do not be confused.

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