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!
Do you have fond childhood memories of sitting with a special adult and listening to them read one of your favorite stories? I vividly remember my dad reading The Elephant’s Child by Rudyard Kipling to me and how we laughed together at the funny voices he used. As an educator, you know how important those moments are for building warm connections, enjoying time together, and learning about many things. So, even if you missed out on those moments as a child, you want to create those moments for the children in your classroom. With careful planning, you can be confident that your read-alouds will be exciting, effective learning opportunities.
The majority of early childhood classrooms have at least one child who is a dual language learner (DLL) and this population is growing. One in three children from birth to age six speak a language besides English at home. Consequently, the majority of teachers need strategies on how to best support this group of students. We reached out to Veronica Fernandez, Developmental Psychologist and Research Scientist at the University of Miami for strategies she’s found most successful.
As part of our Teacher Spotlight series, we recently asked the CLASS Community to nominate a teacher whose high-quality classroom interactions are making a difference for their dual language learners. Our winner, Kim Schoell, has been teaching for 20 years and is currently a Pre-K teacher in Frederick County, VA. 67% of her students are Hispanic and many of the children are dual language learners.
When COVID-19 hit and schools shut down, many of us were certain that it would not impact the 2020-21 school year. But with the pandemic surging and some schools opening up - only to shut down again, it’s clear that COVID is still with us. The length of the pandemic has only heightened concern about COVID related learning loss - especially among underserved populations.