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MIFGASHIM  April 2016

MIFGASHIM April 2016

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 370

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

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[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:26:16 +0300

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Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 370

With Pesach approaching, today’s issue focuses on the centrality of good questions.


Contents:


1.	Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy

2.	Seven habits of outstanding leaders

3.	Question stems around Bloom’s taxonomy

4.	Marshall Memo: The Power of Student-Generated Questions


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Lookstein Virtual Jewish Academy


Students Struggling with Tanach Skills?

We would love to support your middle and high school grade students in need of remediation to improve their skill level and gain more from your in-school Tanach classes. To learn more about our new online Tanach Skills course, please contact: [log in to unmask]  


~~~~~~~~~


2.	Seven habits of outstanding leaders

In the April 1, 2016 edition of Inc.com, Jessica Stillman, who blogs on unconventional careers, offers her list of habits of outstanding leaders.

These characteristics include:

1.	They lead least by giving power back to their subordinates.

2.	They are boring in a way that allows the leader's team to focus on their actual work rather than office politics or needless consultation.

3.	They skip the status symbols which often are meant to intimidate or influence through power and, instead, earn respect through their actions. 

4.	They listen more than they talk and are known for their deeper questions than their comprehensive answers.

5.	They are not always busy; they make time for deep concentration and uninterrupted pondering.

6.	They read a lot and thereby accumulate vast knowledge.

7.	They know their purpose and articulate why they do what they do.

A Huffington Post piece on the essential qualities of natural leaders (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/traits-that-make-a-leader_n_5959298.html) includes a quote that Joey Reiman, CEO of BrightHouse, wrote in The Story of Purpose: The Path to Creating a Brighter Brand, a Greater Company, and a Lasting Legacy, which captures this well: "Purpose leaders don't manage; they mesmerize. They don't execute initiatives; they lead crusades. Their brands are not labels but flags that should evoke the kind of patriotism we have for the countries we live in... These leaders want to change the way the planet works--or as Apple's Steve Jobs is widely quoted saying, 'to make a dent in the universe.'"

Read the unedited article at http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-habits-that-all-great-leaders-have.html


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Question stems around Bloom’s taxonomy


Question stems can be a powerful part of the process of developing critical thinking no matter where the learner is.  Regardless of the type of assessment (pre-assessment, self-assessment, formative and summative assessment) or the point in a lesson (e.g. prompting and cueing during discussion), teachers can deepen students’ critical thinking by the type of questions they ask students. 

The site presents a chart of over 25 question stems framed around the early, non-revised Bloom’s taxonomy.

Such question stems include:  

How does ___ compare/contrast with ___?
What might happen if you combined ___ with ___?
What criteria would you use to assess ___?

View the chart at
http://www.teachthought.com/critical-thinking/blooms-taxonomy/25-question-stems-framed-around-blooms-taxonomy/


~~~~~~~~~


4.	Marshall Memo: The Power of Student-Generated Questions


“We are kidding ourselves if we think our questions alone turn students into critical thinkers,” says Cris Tovani (Commerce City, Colorado English teacher and author) in this Educational Leadership article. “Instead of spending time honing our questioning skills, it’s time we help students hone theirs. Giving students opportunities to practice questioning will help them way beyond the classroom. People who wonder set a purpose for themselves. They know asking questions will propel them to continue reading and learning… Asking questions gives learners control.”

Teachers fire off as many as 120 questions an hour, and by middle school, many students have become expert question-answerers – and perhaps teacher mind-readers. The problem is that with many of these questions, teachers are looking for a single right answer, which leaves little room for original thought. Getting students asking their own questions changes this dynamic. “It’s a lot harder to fake an authentic question than it is to copy an answer from some Internet site,” says Tovani. Here are some strategies she recommends:

-   Using students’ questions to drive the next day’s reading and small-group conversations. “Students’ questions provide a great deal of invaluable formative assessment data that helps me adjust instruction,” she says.

-   Cruising around the classroom as students read and jot questions on their “think sheets,” checking in with individual students and collecting the papers of those she didn’t have time to talk with.

-   Being selective about which student questions she’ll answer. She responds to Who, What, When, and Where questions, but when students ask How or Why questions, she’ll respond with another question, for example, Why do you think that’s happening?

-   Sharing a text she’s been reading and annotating to show the questions she’s asking as she reads and explaining that some questions deserve more effort than others.

“I’m humbled by my students’ questions,” says Tovani. “Often they are better than mine.” They definitely help her differentiate instruction. “If students were all answering the same teacher-generated question, I wouldn’t be able to tell who got it and who copied.”

Of course Tovani does ask her own questions of students, and she’s noticed that they fall into two categories:

Questions that create awareness:

-   What are you wondering about the book?

-   What are you noticing about how the author is using time? Jumping forward, flashing back, chronological? What purpose do you think it serves?

-   What background knowledge do you have about the book, topic, author, or characters?

-   Did you notice the title? Any ideas on how it connects to the piece?

-   What weird or unusual text structures are you noticing? Why do you think the author structured the chapter that way?

-   What predictions are you making?

-   What questions do you have? Which ones do you care about most?

-   Which character’s perspective are you connecting to most?

-   Are there any objects or colors that keep popping up?

-   How could you look at this information differently?

Open-ended questions that inform instruction:

-   Why do you think that?

-   What do you need?

-   Is this boring or are you stuck? Why? What have you done before to get unstuck?

-   Have you tried what we talked about in the mini-lesson?

-   What’s preventing you from working? What causes you to stop?

-   What might you try tomorrow?

-   What do you know now that you didn’t know before?

-   What’s going on in your head as you read? What is your inner voice saying?

 
“Let’s Switch Questioning Around” by Cris Tovani in Educational Leadership, September 2015 (Vol. 73, #1, p. 30-35), available at http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept15/vol73/num01/Let's-Switch-Questioning-Around.aspx.


The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

__________________________________________________________________________
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The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora,
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

The Center encourages you to become a paid member and
benefit for the wide variety of programming offered by the Center.
For information see http://www.lookstein.org/joinus/.

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