As educators, it is not our goal to have students answer our questions nor simply get good grades; rather, we hope that we are helping to shape our students’ thinking skills, values and emotional intelligence. Yet, how do we help our students draw values and meaning from texts and assignments? How do we help prepare them for their learning tasks ahead (in and outside of school)? How do we help them make connections between their learning and their lives?
Here are ten questions to consider posing (and re-posing!) to your students to help encourage them to make these connections, take greater ownership of their learning, find their passions and develop strategies for life-long problem solving.
- What are your strengths? How might you develop them further?
- What are you fascinated by? How might you find out more about it? Why does it matter?
- Who do you admire and what can you learn from them?
- In what ways does your learning at school help you outside the walls of this building? How can you bring more of your learning outside of school into the classroom?
- What are you proud of and what do you wish you could do better? How might you go about it? Who might support you?
- What do you really care about? How might you make a difference? Whom else might this impact?
- In what ways have you grown this past year? What are your learning goals for next year? Who and what will help you achieve them?
- What do you wish you could change? What small steps could you take towards making it happen?
- In what ways have you contributed to your class learning community? How do you share your talents? Do you make space for others? Which members of your learning community have helped you learn?
- What do you dream of doing? How might you work towards that dream? Who can you share it with?