Questions or Answers?

Posted by Big Universe on Sep 26, 2011 5:37:57 AM

I read two novels this weekend. Once I started each of the books, I did not want to stop reading because I wanted to know what was going to happen next and wanted the answers to the questions that had formed in my mind while I was reading. After I finished each book, I stopped and thought about the questions that had been answered as well as the questions I had about what could happen next if the story continued ....

That got me thinking about how questions are used in most classrooms in connection with reading. Generally the teacher asks the students questions after the reading is done is assess comprehension. I wonder if questions might be better used before and during reading to help guide thinking and comprehension rather than only at the end.

I came across a statement that caused me to think even more about questions in Strategies That Work by S. Harvey and A. Goudvis, I think this statement caught my attention since it starts with the word creativity and connects it to reading:

Creativity spawns questions.

Questions are the master key to understanding.

Questions clarify confusion.

Questions stimulate research efforts.

Questions propel us forward and take us deeper into reading.

How are questions used in your classroom?

Who asks the most questions ... teacher or student?

How are student questions used to guide learning and instruction?

"As adult readers, we question all the time, often without even thinking about it. When we first began to pay attention to our thinking as we read, we were stunned by the number of questions we had, many of which were inspired by relatively small amounts of text. Kids don't grow up knowing that good readers ask questions. In fact, schools often appear more interested in answers than in questions." (pg. 109)

Should we encourage students to stop and notice the questions they have as they read and not just after they read?

Could those questions help provide a purpose for further reader and raise comprehension of what is being read?

Would it be OK for students to stop and write down the questions and thoughts they have while they are reading?

What if students have questions after they finish reading?

"Our students need to know that their questions matter. They need to see us asking questions as well as answering them. Asking questions engages us and keeps us reading. A reader with no questions might as well abandon the book. When our students ask questions and search for answers, we know they are monitoring comprehension and interacting with the text to construct meaning, which is exactly what we hope for in developing readers." (pg. 109)

Should we be interested more in answers or questions ....

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Topics: Personal Experiences, Literacy

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