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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?
760 Activity Points
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.
20 Activity Points
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!
91984 Activity Points
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.
50 Activity Points
This is a great question and a situation that i'm sure most, if not all, teachers have experienced. However, above all else, reply to the student with encouragement! Let them know that they asked a great question and they are using the brains effectively! It all has to do with timing, honestly. If I had the time, I would search up the question with the students. If there isn't much time I would maybe write the question on a sticky note and post it on the whiteboard to show the students that I am interested in their question and we will go back to it at a later time.
3030 Activity Points
One of my professors actually just gave us a great idea for this. For once, it always super important to admit to a student when you do not know. It's okay for us to not know everything and it is important for our students to see us as humans, too. What my professor suggested we do if this ever arises is to ask the students to go home and do some research and find the answer for the question! It's a great way to not use up your own class time and for the student to get some experience investigating on their own. It's great to give them ideas for resources such as their parents, siblings, books, or websites to look it up on but it is a great practice at the skill of researching for them to try to find it out on their own. The next day, be sure to set aside some time to discuss the class's findings during the research the night before
2000 Activity Points
I teach college-level sciences - I get questions I don't know the answer to regularly. If it is something I used to/should know, I just tell them it is slipping my mind but I'll get back to them after I refresh my memory. If it is a question they may not be best suited to sift through resources to find the answer to, I praise them for being courageous to ask big questions and tell them I will let them know what I learn on the topic. If it is a question I think the class can reasonably research on their own, I offer extra credit for seeking the answer on their own (with resources noted).
3880 Activity Points
I teach high school. I make questions that I do not know the answer to extra credit questions. I tell the student and the class, "I don't know the answer to that but if you or anyone else finds out the answer, say by doing an online search and giving me the name of a reliable website you read the answer from, I'll give you extra credit or allow you to skip a homework assignment." It works everytime because the students think finding out an answer is less work than the homework. It also does not matter of more than one students comes back with the same answer because that's not the point.
390 Activity Points
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