A big focus at my internship school this semester has been questions. What kind of questions are we asking students? Why are we asking them these questions and what are we trying to get them to do with the questions we ask?
This was also a popular topic in my college courses. As I've learned repeatedly this semester though, knowing all the theory about a topic doesn't matter much until you actually put it into practice with real students. So I was
a wee bit super nervous early in the year when our lead team announced they’d be doing random observations focused specifically on what questions we as teachers asked students during our lessons. I was especially nervous when I found out I was randomly selected as the first one to be observed by our math coach.
Following my observation and post-observation meeting, I was so glad I’d gotten the chance to be observed! Our math coach typed out literally every question I asked students for a solid half hour and I learned so much about my question asking! It helped so much explaining to another person what my intent was behind the questions I was asking and hearing her feed back.
To help reinforce the idea of being intention with the questions we ask students, another teacher at our school created this cute poster. The HOT is a play on an acronym for Higher Order Thinking. While the division of the questions don’t always mean they are higher or lower order (i.e. a “what” question can still be higher order), this is a good visual reminder. Her poster was such a hit that they started popping up all around our school and our principal strongly encouraged each teacher get one in their room (read: everyone had to get one.)