We are a little more than a month away from the dreaded “Open-ended Questions.” Open-ended questions are the way to introduce critical thought. I see it from my first grade daughter’s interaction with text. Instead of getting started right away, the teacher first asks them to look at the front cover. She then asks them to make some guesses about the story based on the title, illustrations and any other information they can find on the front or back of the book. These open-ended questions allow students to analyze the content, make guesses based on vocabulary on the cover and discuss the reasoning behind their thoughts. In short, before even cracking open the book, they've already thought critically and analytically.
With all of our talk about making the classroom student centered, practicing how to answer open-ended questions is a great way to get students involved. Open-ended questions typically require more than a one-word response, students develop language and vocabulary skills.
The video below shows students working in groups, using specific details from the text to draw inferences and answer a question about the text.
This week during PD we will be discussing inferencing and open-ended questions.