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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Excuse Me..But Your Question has an Open End

I inadvertently sat in on what turned out to be a rather clever little lesson on open-ended questions. While I still think that name could be retooled a bit, the demonstration itself was quite useful, and surprisingly, it was aimed at students in a 7th grade health class.

As teachers we need to get into the habit of asking questions that probe just a little deeper. If your question can be answered with a single word, you probably aren't delving all that deeply into the subject. In the lesson I witnessed, the teacher challenged to students to ask her open ended questions. She made a game of answering with as few words as possible. At first, she was able to deliver yes and no type answers, but gradually, some of the students started to get it. By the end, she was getting a lot more "why do you like that?" and "what do you think about that?"

The teacher may not have known I was eavesdropping, but I am thankful that I did.

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