Questioning

A Workshop Wednesday Session

Aug 13 · 2 min read

Questioning

DOK (Depth of Knowledge) is a scale for questioning I utilize with teachers and students.

Level 3: Strategic Thinking Characteristics

  • Requires deep knowledge
  • Students encouraged to go beyond text
  • Students asked to explain, generalize, or connect ideas
  • Students must be able to support their thinking, citing references from the text or other sources
  • Items may involve abstract theme identification, inferences between or across passages, application of prior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgment about a text

2 Strategies for increasing the rigor and use of questioning

1. Have students write their own questions relevant to the content of the class using DOK question stems.

Not only is this a great creation exercise for students but it also hyper focuses their attention on the content and what is important to know. The students find out quickly that higher level questions are not always the easiest item to write!

DOK 3 Sentence Stems

  • How is ____ related to ____?
  • What conclusions can you draw _____?
  • How would you adapt____to create a different____?
  • How would you test____?
  • Can you predict the outcome if____?
  • What is the best answer? Why?
  • What conclusion can be drawn from these three texts?
  • What is your interpretation of this text? Support your rationale.
  • How would you describe the sequence of____?
  • What facts would you select to support____?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason____?
  • What would happen if___?
  • Can you formulate a theory for___?
  • How would you test___?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason___?

Questions and ideas should be the ax that breaks open the frozen sea within us.

-Kafka

2. Plan your questions ahead of time and WRITE THEM DOWN

No matter how many years you have been teaching this is a strategy worth trying. If you formulate several questions before the lesson using the higher levels then your mindset is changed and you will move forward from the higher level questioning rather than go back to more knowledge or surface level questioning. When we meet students where they are we sometimes rely too heavily on the knowledge-based questions or DOK 1 that only have one answer.

My teachers are working on this concept today! I hope that you find it helpful or at least a reminder of a practice you haven’t thought about in a while! As a coach, I have offered to visit classrooms and script just the questions the teachers are asking so we can analyze them later. We often don’t realize the questions we are actually asking!

Happy Teaching

Tammy Breitweiser

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Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ultra runner and ultra reader; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes.

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