Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:48 AM

I want students to inquire and seek answers to their questions. My worry is that I will not always know the answers. What do I do if a student asks me a question that I do not know the answer to? Do I search it with the class in whole group? Do I give everybody the opportunity to write down questions and allow students to investigate them later in the lesson?

Drucilla Omokaro
Drucilla Omokaro
760 Activity Points

Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:41 AM

In that moment when you are in the classroom and your student asks you a question you don't know the answer to, the first thing you say should be encouraging. For example, you might say "that's a great question!" Your next decision depends on how much time you have. If you have limited time, tell your student that you don't know the answer and encourage them to go home and bring back the answer. With a little more time, ask the student if they have a hypothesis about the answer and begin a short discussion about what the the aspects of the question and what concepts would be necessary to answer the question. Finally, if you have a lot of time available, open up the question to the entire class for exploration. As you mentioned in your post, another possibility is to give the entire class an opportunity to write down their questions and either self-investigate or explore within groups later on in the lesson.

Sophia Shatas
Sophia Shatas
20 Activity Points

Mon May 01, 2017 2:38 PM

I agree with Sophia's response. It's ok not to be a walking encyclopedia or google expert. I have students write down the question and anyone can bring in the correct response written on a scrap of paper the next day. They share what they found with the class. This is also a good time to teach them about finding more than one source on the internet for a definitive answer. I also give prizes for correct answers like pencils or bookmarks. Everyone knows something we don't know. What a great way to showcase collaboration. When students teach me things I don't know, I make sure to let them know!

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
73505 Activity Points

Mon May 15, 2017 1:12 PM

I always love when a students stumps me. I use this as an opportunity to teach myself as well as the student. When a question like that is asked I always mention that it's a great question and I don't know. Students should be excited when they don't know something rather than put down. I try to set an example. Then I will usually go home and research the answer for them that night. I also give the student an opportunity to look it up for extra credit. That encourages them to ask the hard questions and teaches them how to find the information on their own.

Adam Rader
Adam Rader
30 Activity Points

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