This week, as I recover from jet lag, I’m sharing a blog post by one of the amazing students I had at UNH’s Summer Literacy Institute last year, Megan Dincher. Here Megan beautifully captures what can happen when we shift our teaching focus from seeking answers to thinking and hand over the role of “question master” to students.
I used to provide discussion questions for my students. I would spend time thinking about book-specific questions that I could ask, questions that I thought would prompt complex discussion and make them really think about the text at hand. Sometimes, they did have really complex discussions, and I’m sure they spent time thinking about said text. But the discussion wasn’t as authentic as I wanted it to be, because I was telling them what to talk about.
Now, there are always going to be things that we want students to talk about, and there’s a time and place for helping them understand things about a book that they might not have discovered for themselves. When I want my students to discuss a book–not necessarily analyze the book, but discuss it, I now have a different approach.
Last summer, I took a class with Vicki Vinton at the New Hampshire Literacy…
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