4 Important Questions to ask Students
For many years now I have been asking my students to reflect on their learning process. This has come in many different ways, but after a lot of research and trial and error, I use these four questions. I ask my students to complete these simple self reflective questions at the end of each assignment or assessment. These simple questions often reveal more to me than the content of the actual assignment! They can be used with any type of assessment work that you do, or after a unit of work or lesson, for practical lessons/tasks or theory ones, the possibilities for use are endless.
So why? Why ask questions? Why reflect? Why Evaluate? Why? Well it is quite simple, these questions are designed to get students thinking about the process of learning, what was easy, what was hard, what they would change and what they actually learned. These questions are so simple, yet so powerful. As we know, we often learn more from our mistakes than from our successes, and these questions are just a little reminder to students to think about what it actually is they are learning in class.
You can download a FREE PDF printable with the questions here.
The Four Questions are:
- What did you find easy in this task?
- What did you find difficult in this task?
- If you could change something what would it be and why?
- What did you learn while completing this task?
Last week, I was completing a 12 Bar Blues small group Performance task with my Year 7 classes. We had finished the performances and recorded each of them to watch back later. During this task I swapped up group members and asked them to perform together in different combinations—just as a little experiment. The idea was to see who actually knew their own part and could perform it no matter who was in the ensemble. At the end of the lesson we had all packed up the equipment and we had about 5 minutes before the lesson ended. So I asked them a couple of questions. One questions was—what did you learn from performing together in the 12 Bar Blues? Their responses were priceless! I was expecting the usual “we learned to play a song” or “ I learned how to play the guitar/keyboard/drums/bass”. But no, the responses were exactly where I was going to lead them, but they didn’t need prompting!!! They quickly told me they learned about working with other people, they learned how to solve problems together, they learned that they had ability to do the task, they learned “confidence” (their words) and they learned that if they didn’t play in time together it sounded really bad—that they needed to listen to each other and work together to get it sounding “good”. It was one of those moments when I was proud to be a teacher 🙂 I was really pleased to see that my little Year 7 students could see the big picture, and that they realised that the skills we used in this simple little performance task could be used in their lives outside of class.
I use these simple four questions with every single assignment that my students complete, from Years 7-12, and I love that the questions can prompt such great reflection and evaluation from their own learning.
You can download the questions in a PDF by clicking on the link below.
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Until next time
Julia from Jooya