Exploring / Formulating / Questioning / Connecting
Brainstorm options.
Identify problems.
Form focus.
Pose questions.
Frame ideas.
Connect new ideas with prior knowledge.
Construct a plan to accomplish the task.
Establish a purpose for reading.

Take a Closer Look!

Brainstorming is an excellent thinking process to develop many creative solutions to a problem. It allows a forum and time for students to "unpack their thinking". Encourage students to quickly think out of the box, voice their opinions and ideas - no matter how strange, far-fetched or impossible it may seem. Students will be able to form a focus through identifying problems within a broad concept when encouraged to dissect, slice, and probe a topic. Encourage students to pose questions in order unlock meaning and understanding of trends and essential issues. The questions will frame ideas, giving structure and clarity through connecting new ideas with prior knowledge. Ambiguity wanes to a sense of direction and the ability to construct a plan to accomplish the task.

Questioning Skills

  • Questioning Toolkit - Dr. Jamie McKenzie provides expert information on the type of questions. Great resource for the art of questioning.
  • Articles on Questioning - A collection of articles by Dr. Jamie McKenzie. Also, check out the FNO May 2005 article, Assessing the Growth of Questioning.
  • Classroom Strategies to Engender Student Questioning This is a must article by Dr. Jamie McKenzie for all teachers. Provides excellent strategies to teach questioning skills.
  • Questioning Skills - In action learning, groups concentrate on building their questioning skills and extending the range of questions available to them in order to probe deeply into the complex problems which form the basis of their work.
  • Questioning Skills - In order to assess different levels of learning and understanding, different style of questioning can be used. This source discusses kinds of questions can be used in order to assess a student's knowledge, comprehension, ability to apply the knowledge, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information.
  • The Critical Mind Is a Questioning Mind: Learning How to Ask Powerful, Probing Questions - This is a great resource developed by the Foundation for Critical Thinking that includes strategies to foster critical thinking and excellent articles on the subject.
  • Explore Your Knowledge (National Center for Educational Statistics) - This is a useful tool to help with forming questions. Select civics, science or math questions and grade level. Questions will be generated. Try answering to see how you compare to students from 30+ countries.
  • Crafting Questions for Online Learning - Well defined questions and their appropriate use can not only help students understand content on a basic level, but can also guide them in critical thinking about content.



Reading Strategies

See also resources listed in analyzing and synthesizing sections of the Information Literacy Problem Solving Model.

  • The Reading Lady.com - Mosaic Reading Tools - This source includes a WEALTH of resource for all kinds of ideas and strategies to increase student reading comprehension competencies. Resources include lesson plans, assessments, worksheets, and even PowerPoint presentation.
  • Skimming and Scanning - There are different styles of reading for different situations, especially when exploring for information.
  • 4 Blocks Literacy Model - The summaries available from this source are based upon information provided in Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Keene and Susan Zimmermann (review) Six strategies are outlined that play an important role in the brain's ability to comprehend text. These are connecting, predicting/anticipating, summarizing/concluding, questioning/monitoring, image/inferring, and evaluating/applying.
  • Teaching Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet - Article with links from Kathy Schrock and Discovery Schools.

Form Focus

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