Sunday, November 27, 2016

Creating Critical Thinkers through Questioning!

Hello Everyone!!
I really can't even believe how long it has been since my last post!!  I am so sorry! Thanks to all those who have e-mailed me asking about my absence.  You are too kind. We have had a very busy and emotional homelife lately.  My nephew's baby daughter has been diagnosed with Krabbe disease, an aggressive  incurable genetic disease.  We had to fly to Florida to help and support them.  It is such a sad thing because she could have been tested for it at birth and would have been eligible for some transplant treatment which would have prolonged her life.  Please keep little Lola and her mom and dad, John and Kathrin, in your prayers.  
Early November, my mom turned 80!  We had a wonderful surprise party for her.  All my brothers and sisters (5 of us!) flew to Texas to help her celebrate!  They live all over the country! She about flipped!!!  It was the celebration of a lifetime!!  We feel so blessed to have had this opportunity!
And finally, another celebration!  My baby boy (24 years old!) built and just moved into his first home.  He has always been such a go getter.  He graduated from high school early and was able to go to college at age 17.  He graduated with a double major and is working in Austin in the tech industry. He loves Austin so much that he decided to build there. It also helps that he is very frugal with his money! :) We were able to go help him move in.  And he let me decorate for him!!! Such a fun, but exhausting time. 
So, all that brings me to finally having some time to post a little.   I thought I'd share a bit about what I am doing to help kids think more critically.  In this ever changing world, just teaching facts is not enough.   Kids need to learn to problem solve...ask anyone in the work force today.  There is more than one way to get the work done. 
As I worked on using the higher level questions based on Bloom's Taxonomy, I found that my kids were really finding new ways to answer, adding value to every problem, sharing their ideas more readily, and understanding that we learn more from our mistakes. I found that kids are very capable of asking each other critical questions as well.   I have worked hard to help my first graders be aware of what I mean by digging deeper into everything we do.   I am also pleased to say that our district is embracing the power of questioning as well. I want to show you what I have developed so far.  Keep in mind that there are many  many more ways to add the right kind of questioning to your curriculum.  These are just a few of the easily adaptable strategies you can add tomorrow!  Just print and go!

This is just the beginning.  I am a problem solver, as well.  I want my students to do all they can to think at a higher level than ever before.  I will do what it takes to help!!! So...stay tuned. I will be back with more. 
Thanks for your patience as we work through life and teaching!!!