“Preschool children, on average, ask their parents about 100 questions a day. Why, why, why—sometimes parents just wish it’d stop.
Tragically, it does stop. By middle school they’ve pretty much stopped asking. It’s no coincidence that this same time is when student motivation and engagement plummet. They didn’t stop asking questions because they lost interest: it’s the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions.” (Newsweek, July 2010)
This past week Mr. Benham has been working with fifth grade classrooms around the district to practice the skill of asking questions. Students were encouraged to adopt the belief that their questions are part of the learning process and that every question is an opportunity to learn something new. Following a process called the Question Formulation Technique created by The Right Question Institute, students had to produce questions, categorize questions, prioritize questions, and then share and reflect. Although it may sound simple, the process helps students develop critical thinking skills and metacognitive awareness necessary for lifelong success.