What Makes a Good Question?
The next step was to discuss the validity of questions. Ground rules were created to encourage students to ask good questions about each other’s presentations, and to move away from a focus on getting the right answers. We debated open and closed questions, worked on this at home, and then shared good ideas for why open-ended questions are so much more interesting than closed questions. We have a strict rule that no question is a bad question, but all good questions lead to more questions!
It was tough for me to take a step back and wait while students took needed time to shift from answer to question. Initially, they copied each other’s questions, but slowly the conversation opened up to more interesting questions as I role modeled a few of my own questions. There were a few students who wanted to give answers, but we had to rein ourselves in and come back to the driving questions around ecosystems. It was definitely a learning curve to move away from the ‘googlable’ answer to understand what we wanted to research further.
Students were then encouraged to use Pebble Go as a launching base to further their research and examine more about their topic. Again, they shared their learning using Flipgrid. Some presented beautiful flowcharts, others used the cool iPad app which comes within the Pebble Go, whilst others made their own dioramas or research reports on the biodiversity of ecosystems in British Columbia and beyond. Again, the focus was on asking questions about the research, as well as learning from the students who were co-teaching their peers. We touched on the socio-emotional learning as well with questions reflecting how they were feeling as they researched. Most students enjoyed the process of researching what they wanted to discover. Some students shared that making their inventions in the first week was difficult because they could not get the right results. The time taken for producing was perhaps not conducive for further learning. I had given a framework of one hour per week to work on assignments, but am discovering we may need more time.
Director HCS Blended LearningCommons
Heritage Christian Online School