Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 33, Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Day 33

In the 8th grade classes, we started working today on asking good questions of each other in discussions. I introduced them to two questions that we will be asking each other throughout the year: What do you mean? and How do you know? I found these questions in one of the books on teaching I read this summer, and they immediately seemed to be fundamental questions that should be woven through any intelligent conversation. They are questions that invite a classmate to continue talking because we are interested in what he or she is saying. When these questions (or paraphrases of them) are used regularly, a discussion has a chance to be more than just a podium for one student after another to voice a personal opinion. With questions like these, there's an opportunity for the students to build something together during a discussion. Instead of each going down his or her own private trail, the group, through intelligent listening and questioning, can move together up a single trail toward the truth.

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