Now that school is in session again, you're probably wondering about how you can connect with your students in the classroom and during lessons. The answer? Open-ended questions!
Open-ended questions are an effective way to challenge your students and learn more about how they think. They encourage extended responses and allow your students to reason, think, and reflect. Some examples of open-ended question include, "What do you think... ?" and "How did you decide... ?"
At first, it can be hard to incorporate open-ended questions into your daily routines and lesson plans. But, with some practice, they can help you transform your classroom's learning environment, and the way your students think about the world. We've got three resources below that will teach you more about the basics of open-ended questions and how to incorporate them into your classroom.
Our e-book, All About Open-Ended Questions, is a great starting point. You'll learn about the basics of open-ended questions, gain some strategies for incorporating them into the classroom, and discover how you can help your students answer them. There's also several open-ended question starters sprinkled throughout the e-book so you won't have to come up with all of them on your own.
Our webinar about open-ended questions in the early learning classroom digs a little deeper into open-ended questions. You'll get exercises to help you generate your own open-ended questions, strategies for "encouraging children to reflect and respond," and learn how open-ended questions fit into the CLASS tool.
This infographic is perfect for those of you who want to learn about the basics of open-ended questions in an easy-to-read format, or for those of you who need a refresher on the basics of open-ended questions. Print it out and carry it with you, and share it with your colleagues!
The time has come for hard conversations.
That’s the feedback we have been receiving from educators across the country. There are plenty of tough conversations educators are trained, taught, or feel equipped to handle with children and families - gently bringing up a developmental concern, facilitating a disagreement between students, or explaining what happened with the classroom goldfish are all part of a day in the life. But in the last year, since the killing of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police, educators are increasingly asking for help in communicating more comfortably with young children about diversity and difference.
I was supposed to be an architect, instead I was a teacher of young children; it felt like my calling.
When I started my coursework, they tasked me with visiting multiple classrooms. It overwhelmed me when in some classrooms, children were crying, teachers were frustrated, and no one seemed to enjoy the day. I thought I had made a mistake. Thankfully, I had a professor who inspired me to continue. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the behaviors I observed in both children and teachers, the professor charged me to uncover the root of those behaviors.
And so, my journey to support social-emotional development began.
This past year of hybrid and virtual learning due to the pandemic highlighted the gaps in learning and the inequities that we already knew existed. It is apparent, now more than ever, that there needs to be a narrow focus on bridging the divides (e.g., digital) that exist and meeting students where they are in order to promote growth and put less emphasis on standardized testing. This would allow teachers to concentrate on curriculum with greater impact, differentiate their instruction, and utilize effective strategies that they know make a difference for children’s outcomes.