In a recent guest post, HS Science teacher Carl Sommerfeld shared how he used the Question Formulation Technique (aka QFT) to provide structure for students to ask questions that would guide a unit of study.
One of the key facets of the QFT is that the teacher starts the process with a Question Focus. This is a teacher prompt that provides a focus for questions students will create. Here are examples of how Darren Elves’ does this in his primary classroom: example 1, example 2, example 3. Darren has a great post on how he uses the QFT with primary students.
Looking at the proposed design for the “new” BC curriculum I can see how I would use the QFT to start each unit.
Above is a draft copy of the Science 7 curriculum. I think each Enduring Understanding would make a great Question Focus. The Content that students are expected to know and understand are helpful when Prioritizing Questions (part of the QFT). As students pursue answers to their questions (via various means) I would emphasis the process in order to develop students’ ability to Inquire, Reason, and Apply (the Curricular Competencies).
Blending into the unit would be the Cross Curricular Competencies. I see a significant Language Arts (Written & Oral language) learning and application within the study of Science questions and the ecosystem understandings connect to some of the civilization understandings in the current SS7 PLO. There is so much opportunity for creative and engaging teaching — would definitely want at least 1 or 2 colleagues to collaborate with on the work:)
A guest post from Sarah Bretherton, a VSB science teacher.
The students went to the crime scene in groups and had to stay on the other side of the police tape.
Having already reviewed the story of the crime, the students had to observe the room and decide what evidence they wanted analyzed. They compiled a list of objects and described what they wanted them tested for. For example, the glass cup should be checked for fingerprints.
They were given any evidence that they found that went with the Death on Denman case file that was shared last year.
NOTE: The students really enjoyed the crime scene and have suggested some ways that we can make it more interactive next year!
Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
A guest post by Carl Sommerfeld, a science teacher at John Oliver Secondary where he shares his experience of “teaching students to ask their own questions” by using the question formulation technique shared in the book “Make Just One Change”.
Recently I decided to introduce the Nervous System to my Biology 12 students in an unconventional way.
Based on a close reading of Chapter 3 of Embedded Formative Assessment (Wiliam 2011)
The distinction between learning contexts and learning intentions is an important pre-requisite to realizing the improvement in student learning which education research evidence suggests is achievable.
A common trap for teachers is to focus on the context for learning (i.e. the activity, project, experiment, novel, etc.) and overlook the learning intention it was meant to serve.
Wiliam emphasizes that we “have to be able to distinguish between the intended learning outcomes and the instructional activities that we hope will result in those outcomes, and this is a distinction that many teachers find hard to make.” (p.60)
Based on a close reading of Chapter 3 of Dylan Wiliam’s book Embedded Formative Assessment (2011)
The research evidence for the benefits of sharing learning intentions and success criteria is powerful and persuasive.
Wiliam provides an overview of an extensive body of research evidence that points to increased learning for all students, when learning intentions and success criteria are clear, shared and understood. In particular, the greatest gain in learning is observed in those students who are commonly seen as low achieving. In a collaborative environment this closing of the achievement gap is a positive outcome.
Want to write about this but these links will have to do for now.
Resources that make explicit the links between self-regulation and learning.
Note: authors include UBC’s Deborah Butler and Nancy Perry.
A condensed overview of AfL which makes the point that “what we need is a shift from quality control in learning to quality assurance.” Note: AfL forms part of the foundation for “learners owning their own learning”.