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Here’s a text-only version of our December 2020 newsletter:
Top 10 QFT resources of 2020
As 2020 comes to an end (phew!), here’s a look at the most popular Question Formulation Technique resources of the year. Some are perennial favorites. Others are new tools for remote learning.
- The QFT on One Slide
- Make Your Own Virtual QFT Kits
- QFT PowerPoint Template
- Steps of the QFT and Video Guide
- An Introduction to Question Focus Design
- Using the QFT for Formative Assessment
- Lesson Planning Workbook
- One-Page QFT Outline
- QFT Small Group Worksheet
- Guide: Make Your Own QFT with Padlet
Using the QFT ‘on the fly’
The year 2020 has highlighted the incredible capacity of educators to be nimble, creative, flexible, resilient — and, well, all around amazing. Having an adaptable, go-to teaching tool in your “back pocket” can be helpful when the unexpected happens. For veteran teacher librarian Connie Williams, the QFT is such a tool. In one of our favorite reflections, she talks about using the QFT “on the fly” and in many different circumstances.
Also useful is this timing guide — how to break down the QFT if you have 10 minutes or 40 minutes.
High schoolers use ‘Why Vote?’ Tool to explore government and elections
Leading up to the 2020 election, Joshua Beer, a history teacher in New Hampshire, used RQI’s “Why Vote?” Tool to spark a discussion about policy, governance, and voting. “I could start to see the light go on in their heads,” he said of his students.
Continuing to engage voters
This election season we had the opportunity to forge connections with lots of great people and organizations across the country, working to make more voices heard. Voter engagement organizations, parent engagement organizations, and educators used our resources. (See some examples.) But, this work doesn’t stop in November. Engaging voters is ongoing work — especially for organizations in regular contact with people in low-income communities. Our nonpartisan “Why Vote?” Tool can be integrated into that work and adapted for all elections: municipal, state, and federal. That’s why we worked with DJ Sims of Georgia Justice Project to adapt the “Why Vote?” Tool for the January 5 Senate runoff election in Georgia. Visit our website to view our informational webinar with DJ and access the Georgia “Why Vote?” Tool.
Training for legal aid professionals
Across the United States, legal professionals assist people with civil legal problems, whether they are facing eviction, recovering benefits, fighting for disability access, fleeing domestic violence, or filing for bankruptcy. This fall we collaborated with the Legal Services Corporation, the largest civil legal aid funder in the United States, to do a training session for their 132 grantee organizations. One participant said it was “the most efficient way to teach people how to ask good questions that I have seen.” Another said RQI’s approach was “empowering” and can help legal aid clients “feel more confident in being a part of the entire process.”
What we’re reading
Here are some stories we’ve been reading this past month — and one video we’ve been watching (it’s under five minutes and is worth the time).
- Video: The Civil Justice Gap — American Academy of Arts & Sciences
- “Why Are We Still At Home?” Fostering Children’s Questions During COVID-19 — Child & Family Blog
- Who’s Asking the Questions in Your Classroom? If It’s Not Your Students, Think Again — Education Post
- Teaching Students to Ask Good Questions — Teaching Montana History
- Coronavirus Means School Food Is Free Across the U.S. What if it Stayed That Way? — The Hechinger Report
- Massachusetts’ Public Schools Are Highly Segregated. It’s Time We Treated that like the Crisis it Is — The Boston Globe
As 2020 winds to a close, your support matters. With your help, we’re able to provide free online resources for educators and schools — so that students continue to have enriching learning experiences amid the COVID-19 crisis. We’re able to bring practical, free tools for self-advocacy to more and more people across the country — so they can begin to navigate complex obstacles, ask questions, have a say in decisions, and strengthen their voice in democracy. You make a difference. Thank you for everything you do and for being part of the RQI family.