‘Every student in this space will find success this year’
Here are ideas, shared by educators on Twitter, for starting the school year with the Question Formulation Technique:
Matthew Parrilli used this statement as a Question Focus: “Jessie is not learning in English class.” Students asked questions that helped establish “shared expectations for the students, the teacher, and [the] learning environment.”
Alyssa Park showed students a 1950 photo of children looking at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with the statement, “You have rights in this classroom.” After questions, her students brainstormed rights they thought students should have. See some of those rights.
Wanda Faye Bryant used the QFocus, “Rules are needed for school.” Ms. Schaffer used the QFocus, “Every student in this space will find success this year.” And Rebecca Kinnee used, “My sophomore English class.”
First day of school: using the QFT in AP and honors calculus
Christine Relleva, a veteran math teacher, “wanted to jump straight into the action on day one” by presenting students in her AP and honors calculus classes with a thought-provoking graph. Using the Question Formulation Technique, they asked questions about it. “The QFT allowed my students to hit the ground running on the first day of class,” she writes. The result: “This was the most rewarding first day in 30 years.”
Most popular tools for the start of the year
It’s the beginning of a new school year — a good time to highlight go-to resources for using the Question Formulation Technique in the classroom. In that spirit, here are our five most viewed tools:
- The QFT on One Slide
- QFT PowerPoint Template
- An Introduction to Question Focus Design
- Steps of the QFT & Video Guide
- Using Closed-Ended Questions in the Classroom
See our library of planning tools, videos, and more
Starting the year with primary sources
Using primary sources early in the year can be an effective way to spark questions and curiosity. Visit our primary sources resource hub to find inspiration, guidance, examples, and professional learning opportunities.
What we’re reading
Here are a few stories that caught our attention recently.
- It Took 20 Years for This Author to Reunite with the Teacher Who Changed His Life — MindShift
- What’s Actually Being Taught in History Class — New York Times
- Paper Books Linked to Stronger Readers in an International Study —MindShift
- What Do Teachers Think About an AI Model That Writes Essays? We Had Them Test It — Education Week
- Researchers Say Cries of Teacher Shortages Are Overblown — The Hechinger Report
Upcoming learning opportunities
September 15: Introduction to the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) for STEM Learning. Online in partnership with the Advanced Placement Teacher Investment Program at the University of Notre Dame.
October 18-November 7: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Best Practices in the Question Formulation Technique. Offered through the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Register by October 7.
November 3: Community of Practice: Question Formulation Technique from the Right Question Institute. Online in partnership with the New Mexico Public Education Department.
November 20: Mi Voz, Mi Pregunta: Lessons from the Inquiry-Based, Multilingual Classroom. Part of the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention.
December 2: Student Questions (QFT) + Primary Sources (TPS): A revolutionary combination for embracing hard history. Part of the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference.
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