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Essential Questions: Keys to Meaningful Learning

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Essential Questions: Keys to Meaningful Learning Boise State University Edufest Special Topics Susan Wolfe, MAT, Ed.S. July 28, 2013 sue_at_wolfewhere.com – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Essential Questions: Keys to Meaningful Learning


1
Essential Questions Keys to Meaningful Learning
  • Boise State UniversityEdufest Special Topics
  • Susan Wolfe, MAT, Ed.S.
  • July 28, 2013
  • sue_at_wolfewhere.com

2
Self Assessment
novice
intermediate
advanced
expert
3
Workshop Content
  • EQs and Backward Design
  • Essential Questions Key Features
  • Different Types of EQs
  • Designing Essential Questions
  • Tips for Using Essential Questions
  • Web Site Resources

4
Three-Minute Pause
  • Meet in groups of 3-5 to
  • summarize key points.
  • add your own thoughts.
  • pose clarifying questions.

5
Two Big Ideas of UbD
  • Teach and Assess for
  • Understanding
  • and Transfer

3 stages of Backward Design
6
3 Stages of Backward Design
  1. Identify desired results.
  2. Determine acceptable evidence.
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction.

7
UbD Unit Design Template
  • Embodies the 3 stages of backward design.
  • Offers a mental template for effective design.

8
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9
Killing Creativity
10
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11
What makes a question ESSENTIAL?
12
From the leading edge
  • Why is music such a pleasure?
  • Nicholas Humphrey
  • Psychologist, New School for Social Research
  • Author of Consciousness Regained and History of
    the Mind

13
From the leading edge
  • What do collapses of past societies teach us
    about our own future?
  • Jared Diamond
  • Biologist, UCLA Medical School
  • Author of Guns, Germs and Steel
  • Why dont more of our unequal societies
    implode?
  • Katherine Boo
  • Author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers
  • Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

14
Sample Essential Questions
  • How does art reflect, as well as shape , culture?
  • What should we eat?
  • In what way do effective writers hook and hold
    their readers?
  • How do I know what to believe about a scientific
    claim?

15
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16
Concept Attainment
  1. Compare examples () and non-examples (-) of a
    concept.
  2. Identify the distinguishing characteristics of
    each.
  3. Test your theory against new examples.
  4. Refine your concept definition.

17
Essential Questions Not Essential Questions
  • What do effective problem solvers do when they
    get stuck?
  • Is there ever a just war?
  • How can I sound more like a native speaker?
  • What steps did you follow to get your answer?
  • What key event sparked World War I?
  • What are some common Spanish colloquialisms?

18
Essential Questions Not Essential
Questions
  • What should we eat?
  • Should it be an axiom if it is not obvious?
  • Who is a true friend?
  • What foods are in the DAIRY food group?
  • By what axioms are we able to prove Pythagorean
    theorem?
  • Who is Maggies best friend in the story?

19
What is the relationship between popularity and
greatness in literature?When was the Magna
Carta signed?Crustaceans whats up with that?
YES NO
20
What is the relationship between popularity and
greatness in literature?When was the Magna
Carta signed?Crustaceans whats up with that?
YES NO
21
Which President of the U.S. has the most
disappointing legacy?To what extent are science
and common sense related?Whats the pattern?
YES NO
22
Which President of the U.S. has the most
disappointing legacy?To what extent are science
and common sense related?Whats the pattern?
YES NO
It depends on intent!
23
Thought provoking intellectually engaging
Open-ended not a single answer requires
support
Recur can (and should) be revisited
Generative spark inquiry and raise other
questions
24
Pause
25
Four Types of Classroom Questions1. Nutrition
2. Literature
  • Questions That Hook
  • Can what you eat help to prevent zits?
  • Do you know any teenagers that act crazy? Why do
    they act that way?
  • Questions That Lead
  • What types of food are in the food groups?
  • When (time period) and where (location) does the
    novel take place?
  • Questions That Guide
  • What is a balanced diet?
  • Is Holden normal?
  • (Note main character is telling the story from a
    psychiatric hospital.)
  • Essential Questions
  • What should we eat?
  • What makes a story timeless?
  • 2. What truths can we learn from fiction?

26
Criteria
  • Juicy is the prompt provocative?
  • Shades of grey
  • In humanities are their multiple sides and
    answers?
  • In math/science are their multiple steps
    requiring collaborative solving?
  • Requires evidence do students have multiple and
    reliable sources to support their argument?
  • Rooted in rigorous academic content
  • Must students use rigorous content in order to
    solve or answer the essential questions?

27
How Do We Design Essential Questions?
28
Content Overload Curriculum
29
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30
Buyer Beware!
  • Common Core Standards converted into 1,540
    Learning Objectives DataWORKS has converted the
    Common Core Standards into explicit, teachable
    Learning Objectives. Now teachers can rapidly
    comprehend, internalize, and implement new Common
    Core Vocabulary lists that define key words
    students need to be successful. Download free
    sample.

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Unpack Content Standards
  • Consider What big ideas are embedded within
    the standards?

Content Standards
33
A closer look
34
Next Generation Science Standards
  • Includes EIGHT Practices for K-12 Classrooms.
  • Example
  • 7. Engaging in argument from evidence

What makes a credible argument? What constitutes
effective evidence?
35
Next Generation Science Standards
  • 6. Structure and Function. The way in which an
    object or living thing is shaped and it
    substructure determine many of its properties and
    functions.

How are structure and function related in
living things? in non-living things?
36
English/LA Anchor Standards, Reading Key Ideas
and Details
  1. Read closely to determine what the text says
    explicitly and to make logical inferences from
    it cite specific textual evidence when writing
    or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the
    text.
  • EQs
  • What logical inferences can I draw, based on what
    is in the text?
  • What specific evidence in the text supports my
    ideas?

37
Mathematics Practice Standards
  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving
    them.
  2. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • EQs
  • What do effective problem solvers do?
  • What should I do when I am stuck?
  • What is the most appropriate method and/or tool
    to use here, if efficiency and effectiveness is
    the goals?

38
Next Generation Science Standards
  1. Plan and carry out investigations to identify the
    effect forces have on an objects shape and
    orientation.
  • EQs
  • Why did this move that way?
  • Why is this shaped that way?
  • What distinct forces caused that effect?

39
Types of Essential Questions
  • Overarching Frame courses and programs of study
    around truly big ideas.
  • Topical Are unit specific but still promote
    inquiry.
  • GOOD TEACHING USES BOTH!

40
Examples
  • Understanding Living organisms adapt to survive
    harsh or changing environments.
  • Overarching In nature, do only the strong
    survive? What is survival strength?
  • Topical How do insects survive so well?

41
Overarching vs. Topical EQs
  • Whose story (perspective) is this?
  • How do authors use story
  • elements to establish mood?
  • What are common factors in the rise and fall of
    powerful nations?
  • How did Native Idahoans view the settlement of
    their land?
  • How does Neil Gaiman use setting to establish
    mood?
  • Why did the Soviet Union collapse?

42
Consider EQs in Two Strands
Content
Process
43
Consider EQs in Two Strands
Mathematical Concepts
Mathematical Practices
44
EQs in Two Tracks Social Studies
Content EQs
Process EQs
  • How should we balance individual rights with the
    common good?
  • Does capitalism insure economic inequality?
  • How do we know what to believe about historical
    claims?
  • Whose story is this?

45
EQs in Two Tracks Language Arts
Content EQs
Process EQs
  • What truths can we learn from fiction?
  • Can anyone be a hero?
  • How does what I read influence how I should read
    it?
  • How do you read between the lines?

46
EQs in Two Tracks Math
Content EQs
Process EQs
  • What do numbers show?
  • What are the limits of this mathematical model
    (e.g., a linear equation)?
  • What do good problem solvers do?
  • What makes an answer reasonable?

47
EQs in Two Tracks Arts
Content EQs
Process EQs
  • How do the arts reflect and shape culture?
  • How and why do artists break with tradition?
  • How do tools and materials influence artistic
    expression?
  • How can/should we read a work of art?

48
EQs in Two Tracks P.E./Sports
Content EQs
Process EQs
  • When and why should we change the rules??
  • Why and how do we create space when on offense?
  • No pain, no gain agree?
  • If practice makes perfect, what makes perfect
    practice?

49
Your Task
  • Draft ONE overarching EQ for your subject or
    course.
  • Draft TWO topical EQs for your subject or course

50
Pause
51
Share Out
  • After your brainstorming, share your questions
    with several colleagues and gather other ideas
    for revising your questions
  • Continue to revisit and improve questions
    throughout the creation of your Unit

52
Establishing a Culture of Inquiry
53
Make Just One Change
  • All students should and can learn to formulate
    their own questions
  • All educators can easily teach the skill as part
    of their regular practice

http//rightquestion.org
54
Benefits
  • Greater ownership of their learning
  • Deepens comprehension
  • Make new connections and discoveries on their own.

55
The Question Formulation Technique
  • Teacher Designs EQ for New Unit.
  • Students Produce Questions.
  • Students Improve Their Questions.
  • Students Prioritize Their Questions.
  • Students and Teacher Decide on Next Steps.
  • Students Reflect on What They Have Learned.

56
2. Students Produce Questions
  • The four rules are
  • Ask as many questions as you can.
  • Do not stop to discuss, judge, or answer any of
    the questions.
  • Write down every question exactly as it was
    stated.
  • Change any statements into questions.

57
3. Students Improve Their Questions
  • By
  • Analyzing the differences between open- and
    closed-ended questions and by practicing changing
    one type to the other.

FAT Question
Skinny Question
58
4. Students Prioritize Their Questions
  • The teacher
  • Can offer criteria or guidelines for the
    selection of priority questions. In an
    introduction to a unit, the instruction may be,
    Choose the three questions you most want to
    explore further.

59
Question Board
60
5. Students and Teacher Decide on Next Steps.
  • At this stage
  • Students and teacher work together to decide how
    to use the questions.
  • Example After prioritizing questions, students
    and the teacher agreed on this question for their
    Socratic Seminar discussion How do poverty and
    injustice lead to violence in A Tale of Two
    Cities?

61
6. Students Reflect on What They Have Learned
  • Review the steps and provide students with an
    opportunity to reflect and refine.
  • QFT process is transparent, helping students see
    what they have done and how it contributed to
    their thinking and learning. They can internalize
    the process and then apply it in many other
    settings. 

62
  • A key long-term goal of education is for
    students to become better questioners because in
    the end with much knowledge made quickly
    obsolete in the modern world the ability to
    question is central to meaningful learning and
    intellectual achievement at high levels.

Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins
63
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64
Wishing you all the best as you charge into the
new school year!
www.wolfewhere.com
65
Resources
  • Print Media
  • Essential Questions Opening Doors to Student
    UnderstandingWiggins, G. and McTighe, J.
    (2013). Association for Supervision and
    Curriculum Development (ASCD) 
  • Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High
    Quality UnitsWiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2011).
    Association for Supervision and Curriculum
    Development (ASCD)

66
Resources
  • Websites
  • www.livebinders.com
  • LiveBinders is your 3-ring binder for the web,
    has an online binder for content curation on
    Essential Questions
  • Unpacking The Common Core Standards Using The
    UbD Framework (DVD) Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J.
    (2012). Association for Supervision and
    Curriculum Development (ASCD)
  • http//jaymctighe.com/ - Great EQ resource to
    get started
  • http//www.nga.org/cms/home.html - Common Core
    source
  • http//www.nextgenscience.org/ - Common Core
    source
  • http//www.resa.net/curriculum/curriculum/science/
    professionaldevelopment/ngss-pd/demension1/ -
    Common Core source
  • http//rightquestion.org/blog/happy-2013/ -
    Question Formula Technique
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