Successful Teaching

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Transcript Successful Teaching

From Objective to
Essential Question
Promoting Higher-Order Thinking
and Retention
What are Essential Questions?
Our Understanding – 1 to 5
 Thinking in Essential Questions vs.
 Traits and Examples of Overarching
Essential Questions
Why are questions valued over
 Promotes
 Develops responsibility on the part of the
 Initiates discussion
 Provides an opportunity for parents to
become an integral part of learning
 Relieves anxiety for some students
Working Definition of EQ
Define Essential Question
Is there anything you want to add to your
definition after viewing the video?
Define Essential Questions
 Suggest inquiry
 Set the focus for the lesson or unit
 Initiators of creative and critical thinking.
 Focus on key concepts implicit in the
Overarching Essential Questions
Open-ended questions requiring students
to use prior knowledge, new
information, and individual
 Encourage analysis, synthesis, and
 One to three per unit
 “Big” questions students should be able to
answer at the end of each unit
Why Essential Questions?
"Essential questions are important because they connect
classroom work to the large and enduring issues that
affect our lives.
They are the links that make expeditions relevant,
connecting the curriculum to actual concerns that young
people face.
They also provide an invitation into critical thinking,
providing chances to coach young people to think
clearly, precisely, accurately, and reasonably about
things that matter" (Umphrey, 2005).
Getting Started with Stepping
Background knowledge
 Literal
 Concrete with specific correct answers
 The student-friendly objective turned into a
 Different questions every day or two
 Reflect Bloom’s Remembering and
Understanding levels
How can I tell if a question is
solicits evaluation of data
 helps students conduct analysis through
problem-related research
 makes students produce original ideas
rather than predetermined answers
 encourages critical thinking not just
memorization of facts.
“Is my Question Essential?” Activity
What should the EQ classroom
look like?
Overarching Essential Questions
 Course-long
 Unit-long
 Week-long
 Day-long
Supporting Questions (Stepping Stones)
 Interest-generating
 Student-friendly objective turned into a question
 Leading questions
 Somewhat closed questions to solicit facts and build
background knowledge
Criteria for Essential Questions
Easy to understand
 No
difficult vocabulary
Broad terms
 Much
to interpret
Posted in the classroom
Learning to Write Stepping Stone
What is your teaching objective?
 Write the objective as a question.
 Do you need smaller key questions?
 Rewrite if necessary to make sure learners
understand the question(s).
Essential Questions
How do we present Essential Questions to
our students?
Traditional – Board, Overhead, Handout,
Oral, Online, Student-Generated
Session EQ
• How could the use of high quality
overarching essential questions change
the way my students approach learning?
• Two minutes
• Report
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thinking. Retrieved August 1, 2008, from Greece Central School District Web
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(2008). Essential questions. Retrieved August 1, 2008, from Spartanburg School
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Nellan, Ted (2008). What is an essential question?. Retrieved August 1, 2008,
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