Monday, February 22, 2016

Boom! The Power of Questions

What an amazing #plearnchat we had on Monday, February 22nd, 2016! Exciting conversations that went by so fast and started with the Big Question:

"How can we empower learners to take control over their own learning?"

We used the Q1, A1 format with these questions: 

  1. Who controls the questions in your classroom and why?
  2. How can we shift control to learners to make learning experiences more meaningful?
  3. Why should learners be involved in developing their own inquiry?
  4. What would learner led inquiry look like in the classroom?
  5. Where is there room in your current classes to fit questioning in?
  6. How can we teach learners to ask better questions?

Every learner deserves the opportunity to be in control of their learning and to develop as learners. This journey includes empowering them to learn how to develop curiosity and to design questions. In order to help educator’s honor the individuality of each learners’ personalized learning journey, we devoted tonight’s #plearnchat to the topic of the power of questions and invited Starr Sackstein, author of The Power of Questioning, to be our co-host.

Starr Sackstein, @MsSackstein, is a high school English and Journalism teacher at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing, NY where her learners run a multi-media news outlet at Starr serves at the New York State Director to JEA to help serve advisers in New York better grow journalism programs.

We had educators jumping in with their thoughts and ideas around the importance of questioning, how to teach learners to question and how the questioning classroom should look and sound. Starr explained that she teaches her learners to Read. Question. Lead.

She blogs on Education Week Teacher at “Work in Progress” in addition to her personal blog where she discusses all aspects of being a teacher and education reform. Sackstein co-moderates #sunchat as well as contributes to #NYedChat.


Here are a few of the tweets from our #plearnchat PLN:

Mark Levine @LevineWrites

"Questioning is a natural part of life. We need to nurture it and never squelch it. Celebrate it and cultivate it. Ss will grow." 

David Buck @dbuckedu

"Goal is to have Ss evaluate the deeper Qs that lead to this deep learning. Having an "eye" for good Qs."

Kristina Boutilier @kdimini

"Modelling questions and the learning process. Every question is a teachable moment. Don't shut questions down."

Karen Kuntz Ed.D @KarenKKuntz

"Inquiry-based PD included off-campus visits/skyping, collaborations, some lesson materials, but mostly learning." 


A few resources from the chat:

Inquiry in the Classroom via @raspberryberet3


Congratulations to Michael Mohammad, @Mo_physics, Physics teacher in Brookfield, WI, who won our book, Make Learning Personal

Michael Mohammad attended UW Madison where he received his degree in Secondary Education in Broadfield Science and Biology with additional certifications in chemistry and physics. He's been a secondary educator for 15 years, 11 of which have been at Brookfield Central High School in Brookfield, WI. His interests in education focus on putting learners at the center of their own learning experience. 

Michael hopes to continue improving his teaching by personalizing his instruction to help learners see the connections between science and their lives. He lives in Brown Deer, WI with his wife and dog. His wife says he's a pretty good cook and is interested in vegetarian cooking and eating.

Check out Michael's website: MoPhysics MoProblems

"Sometimes you have to ask the wrong question before you learn to ask the right one." 
Michael Mohammad @Mo_physics


Join us for our next #plearnchat topic: 

"Design Thinking and Personalized Learning" with Chris Good, @owplearn

Save the DATE in 2 weeks on 

Monday, March 7th 7pm ET, 6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT


We would love to continue the Power of Questioning conversations with you in our comments. We archived the entire chat below using #storify for you.

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