Sunday, February 11, 2018

#DWHabit - Word of the Day - Answer

I have not written a post on here for a couple of days. I have written, but it has been more  on the line of curriculum and lesson plans. We have all kinds of "gunk" going through our school right now. I'm trying to stay one step ahead of it. I actually went back to bed this morning about 10AM and rested for an hour. I've had a massive headache for the last few days. My husband's back and neck is causing him so much pain that things he usually handles such as grocery shopping has fallen to me. So I didn't get to sit and write the way I wanted to.

When I looked at today's word I laughed.  I have kids who love to answer questions and I have to tell them that they can't answer any more because the other students won't try to answer any. Then I have the students who hide and duck their head hoping I won't call on them.  Occasionally  I will get one that has an answer and then I ask them this question; "Can I play devil's advocate with you on this topic?"  Most of them think it is fun. Sometimes it has such a different outcome.

It’s funny that whenever I tell my students I have a question I want them to answer some of them groan while others sit up at attention and laugh. They know that if they answer my question it will be followed by another. Sometimes I ask them those tough questions. You know the ones I’m talking about. They don’t necessarily have a black and white answer. They fall into that gray area. I love to play devil’s advocate then.  I have gotten so good at this that last year while we were working on writing argumentative essays I asked the question “why?” I was asking the student to elaborate on her point. I then started bringing up counterpoints. By the time I had finished she was almost in tears. When I realized this she told me that she thought that her answer was simple and to the point and now she wasn’t sure about her point. She then pointed out that I was so passionate as I kept asking her questions and expecting her to answer she thought she was wrong. I pointed out I wanted her to be that passionate with her point of view that she could argue her side.   Sometimes when we expect our kids or students to answer we need to make sure we know what we want them to answer or be sure to give them the room they need to explore the many aspects of an answer. That is what I wanted to teach my students that day. This student knew and volunteered to let me play devil’s advocate. She told me after class that she thought she was up to the challenge.  She asked me if I chose her because she lets everyone in class know that she is “always” right and it gets them upset.  I told her I had not chosen her for that reason and I was proud that she was able to take the lesson and internalize it. She told me that it taught her she didn’t know as much as she thought she did.  

How do you handle having your students or kids answer questions???????

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