October 19, 2011

Module 4- Learning Log 2

Posted in Learning Logs- Module 4 at 2:54 pm by lmt84

I enjoyed reading Catherine Trinkle’s article “Reading for Meaning: Questioning”. As a teacher, it is one of my goals to expose students to various question types. As 9th graders, I find that they tend to be ‘stuck’ on the literal level. These ‘thin’ questions tend to elicit responses that require answers directly from the text, requiring little original thought. While literal questions are important for plot information and basic comprehension, I try to get the 9th graders to create and interact with ‘thick’ or analytical questions. I really try my best to have all students comfortable with creating and answering these types of questions, as they require synthesis of information as well as students to add their own interpretations. This will not only help to prepare them for English 10, but all their other subject areas as well.

I was glad to see that Trinkle noted the importance of questioning during the research process. This tied very nicely to my collaborative unit in which I worked with another English 9 teacher to create a project for her English 9 Honors students. Trinkle states, “Students need to be told that they should ask questions throughout their research and that all questions are valid” (103). Aside from generating preliminary questions, I want the students to understand that they should question their process, how easily they are understanding/progressing through the process, as well as the information and sources that they find. I feel that having students constantly questioning (and creating documents that encourage this—ie. rubrics) serves as a form of self-assessment, which I can then examine in order to help students to the best of my ability. I tried to incorporate questioning into my unit, impressing on students that deep questioning will yield thorough research and therefore the possibility for an insightful product.

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