Hearing All Voices: How Asking the Right Questions Can Increase Safety and Participation

A major goal of building the social dimension in our classrooms is to increase student participant. One way to do this is through inviting questions. Questions like:

  • What did you notice about this text?
  • Why did that stand out to you? Why did you notice that?
  • What is a roadblock you encountered?
  • What questions did you have while you were reading?
  • Where did the text get tricky?
  • So how did this (the reading) go?

These questions work well when you’ve given students time to silently reading a passage from the text and would like to start a conversation about their reading. This is a great time to call on those students who rarely volunteer because although you are putting them on the spot, there are no wrong answers; it is safe.  It’s amazing to hear how rich the conversation gets when you open it up to this level!

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