Questions and Thinking in Common Core
Part 1: Teachers as Questioners
Rationale and the Importance of Modeling
Questions help both teachers and students make sense of the world around us, to make decisions, and to solve problems. As teachers, we want our students to be actively engaged, and to think critically and creatively. We have read volumes of work around Bloom's taxonomy, project-based learning, inquiry teaching, and higher order thinking skills curricula. The Common Core again raises these expectations for students, and requires depth over breadth in the experiences we provide for them.
Questions are at the heart of probing and “going deep.” Standard 1 for the English Language Arts, beginning with first grade, highlights students as questioners. Even our youngest learners are expected to ask and answer questions about texts. Questions provide the means for growth and learning, and they cut across curriculum areas. As teachers we must be skillful in the way we use them. If we are to elevate the level of thinking in our classroom discussions around content and the texts we read, we must pay attention to our own questioning skills. Intentional modeling of questioning techniques will go a long way in helping students to think metacognitively and develop dispositions toward deep thought. Questions should lead to more questions!