Remember those questions I asked the students to respond to back on the first day of school? I shared their definition of reading as well as their thoughts on rules that would encourage a positive learning environment. The last question was sort of a free-for-all. I asked them to write down any questions they had about the class, middle school, 6th grade, or me.
I tried a similar exercise my first year as a third grade teacher. When in the process of learning about a new group of students I found that their questions reveal as much about them as the answers they give. This year's sixth graders disclosed a bit about themselves in their inquiries.
Do we get to blow stuff up in Science?
What time is it when you are late for class?
Will we read Moby Dick?
Are you allergic to anything?
Is it true that if you read more you become a better speller?
Why is there a squeaking noise by the sink?
What are three of your favorite songs?
Who inspired you to be a teacher?
Are you funny as a teacher?
Why do they call it Middle School?
Does anybody else feel the same way I do?
Will we have a lot of homework? Will it be hard?
Is 6th grade a repeat of 5th?
One thing I've learned from this activity is that even though it may look like every student is "with me" during class discussion, they aren't. Their brains are moving every which way. They are filled with questions, but they're not always the ones I'm trying to answer in class.
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