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Question-centered approach to reading and writing

Joe McVeigh and Jenny Bixby describe a question-centered approach to teaching reading and writing for English language students. Download handout here: www.joemcveigh.org/resources

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Using a Question-
Centered Approach
to Reading and
Writing
Jenny Bixby
Joe McVeigh

March 31, 2012
TESOL, Philadelphia
Question-centered approach to reading and writing
Question-centered approach to reading and writing
1. How do you
use questions in
the classroom
2. Types
of
questions
What kind of question is it?
1.What is the approximate       a) display question
  attendance at this
  conference?
                                b) experiential
                                   question
2.What was your first
  impression of                 c) fact-based
  Philadelphia?                    question
3.What’s this presentation      d) leading question
  going to be about?
4.You will stay until the end
  of this presentation, won’t
  you?

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Question-centered approach to reading and writing

  • 1. Using a Question- Centered Approach to Reading and Writing Jenny Bixby Joe McVeigh March 31, 2012 TESOL, Philadelphia
  • 4. 1. How do you use questions in the classroom
  • 6. What kind of question is it? 1.What is the approximate a) display question attendance at this conference? b) experiential question 2.What was your first impression of c) fact-based Philadelphia? question 3.What’s this presentation d) leading question going to be about? 4.You will stay until the end of this presentation, won’t you?
  • 7. What kind of question is it? 1. Do you use the TESOL a) essential website very often? question 2. What makes a b) topical professional organization valuable to question its members? c) yes-no 3. Why do most people question join TESOL?
  • 8. 3. What is an essential question?
  • 9. What do these questions have in common? 1. Who are your friends? 2. What makes a city livable? 3. Is discovery always a good thing? 4. Does school prepare you for work? 5. What makes you want to buy something?
  • 10. An essential question should: • be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students • have transfer value (to other content areas) • link to prior knowledge • require core content that you will be covering --- Wiggins & McTighe
  • 11. 4. Using backward design when planning a lesson or course
  • 14. What is backward design? 1. Identify what the lesson or unit outcome will be. 2. Determine how you will measure it. 3. Choose one or two essential questions to guide learning. 4. Select readings that will provide content students need to students reach the outcome. 5. Design your activities.
  • 15. 5. Using questions to frame your lessons will: • give students a __________ for learning • keep the focus of attention on __________ rather than covering points or completing activities • elicit __________views; cause students to __________what they know • lead to __________ thinking • show students the value of __________ and discussion for knowledge and understanding • introduce concepts that can __________ to other areas of study
  • 16. Questions lead students to the content, through the content, and finally to write about the content.
  • 18. Theme: Life events Skills: • Reading- building reading fluency • Vocabulary- using the dictionary • Grammar- simple past with regular and irregular verbs • Writing- showing sequence .
  • 19. An essential question should: • be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students • have transfer value (to other content areas) • link to prior knowledge • require core content that you will be covering --- Wiggins & McTighe
  • 20. ESSENTIAL QUESTION: What events change our lives? LEARNING OUTCOME: Write a paragraph about an event in your life.
  • 21. Questions lead students to the content Number the important life events. In what order do they usually happen? Did any of these events happen to you recently? Discuss your answers with a partner. tgot a job t got married t graduated from college tgraduated from high school t started school tmoved to a different home t was born Discuss the question with your classmates: What events change our lives?
  • 22. Reading 1 In 1993, Greg Mortenson made a promise, and it changed his life completely. He promised to build a school in a small village in Pakistan. Before that, his dream was to climb the tallest mountains in the world. Now his dream is more challenging: to build schools. In the summer of 1993, Mortenson started a very dangerous climb up K-2 in Pakistan. His dream was to climb to the top. Two thousand feet from the top of the mountain, a man in Mortenson’s group had an accident. As a result, Mortenson never reached his dream. He was extremely disappointed. During the trip down the mountain, he got lost in the snow. After many days, he found a tiny mountain village. He was exhausted and couldn’t walk. The village residents of Korphe (kor-fe) welcomed him. They were very poor, but they took care of Mortenson for many months. The village didn’t have a teacher or a school. Mortenson decided to build a school for the village. He wanted to give a valuable gift to them—education. That decision changed his life. [Reading text continues]
  • 23. Questions lead students through the content. Think about the Unit question, What events change our lives? Answer the questions. Then discuss your answers with a partner. 1. Which events happened in your life? Check the boxes. [List of boxes to check.] 2. Which event changed your life? When did this event happen? How did it change your life?
  • 24. Write a paragraph about an event in your life. Students are led through the brainstorming, planning, and writing process. They are encouraged first to think again about the essential question, What events change our lives? They make a timeline about a personal event that was important, answer questions about the event, and then write.
  • 25. How can I use this approach with the materials I have?
  • 27. 7. What is an essential question you can use in your classroom next week? It should be: • be thought-provoking and grab the attention of your students • have transfer value (to other content areas) • link to prior knowledge • require core content that you will be covering
  • 28. Some useful resources  Review copies available. Please complete form.
  • 29. Download copies of a version of these PowerPoint slides (minus copyrighted materials) at www.joemcveigh.org/resources Thank you !

Editor's Notes

  1. display question 3 [questions asked to check that someone knows some content] experiential question 2 fact-based question 1 leading question 4 [questions that assume a particular answer]
  2. essential question 2 topical question 3 [specific questions about a particular topic] yes-no question 1
  3. What characteristics do these essential questions have in common?
  4. Start with the OUTCOME, and work back to the ACTIVITIES
  5. 1. Identify what the lesson or unit outcome will be. [What should students be able to do at the end?] 2. Determine how you will measure it. [What will students do to show what they have learned.] 3. Choose one or two essential questions to guide learning. 4. Select readings that will provide content students need to students reach the outcome. 5. Design your activities.
  6. キ  give students a purpose for learning キ  keep the focus of attention on big ideas rather than covering points or completing activities キ  elicit alternative views; cause students to rethink what they know キ  lead to critical thinking キ  show students the value of questioning and discussion for knowledge and understanding キ  introduce concepts that can transfer to other areas of study
  7. This is the key point in Wiggins and McTighe ’ s book: Organize courses and units not around answers ’ but around questions and problems to which content represents answers. In another place it said to look at the content to be covered (imagining that your textbook is already assigned to you). 展 hat is an important question about a big idea for which the textbook requires a good summary answer? � page 118
  8. What ’ s an essential question that could help frame this lesson, and give students a doorway into what they will read, and into asking more questions. What question will help them to think critically? BRAINSTORM with participants, and then show them what we did
  9. For example, imagine this is your lesson, to be covered in several classes. We usually focus on what we need to cover, have students read things, teach them some skills, and have them write something. Teacher thought process — Well, I want to make sure students get to practice simple past, so maybe they can read something about a famous person. Or they could read about someone ’ s typical day. I think a famous person would be more interesting. Let me think of a few famous people to read about, and I can use the readings to cover the skills. Then students will write a paragraph at the end to show mastery of simple past verbs. I could also give them a grammar quiz a day or two into the lesson. OK, let me find or write up a few readings about lives of famous people. point is: planning is focused on WHAT you will COVER and ACTIVITIES, not on the outcome. An essential question can breath life into the lesson. You want a question that will draw them into the content, through the content, and into the outcome or final task.
  10. [Get students warmed up and introduce the essential question.]
  11. Post-reading activities include comprehension questions; making a timeline; drawing connections to own experience (collecting or raising money for others)
  12. After comprehension activities, circle back to the EQ, and think more critically. [Reading 2 presents a very different life-changing experience.] [After reading 2, we ask questions to have students compare two people they read about, and connect it to their own experience.]
  13. [Good to point out that this is a question that comes up when students write high school essays, scholarship applications, and college applications!]
  14. Give time, and have participants call out the questions they come up with