Month: February 2016

Questioning; Challenge & Engagement

Helpful tips and exemplification for thought provoking questioning…

Gary King

Questioning blog

Questioning is a fundamental element of pedagogy, one you could read endlessly around, but the reality is using questioning to challenge and engage all learners is demanding and potentially problematic to get right. Recently I’ve been working with a team of teachers, shaping our CPD model in preparation for the new academic year. Engaging in dialogue around teaching and learning with colleagues is always a pleasure and extremely informative, and one aspect continually crops up; deep, challenging and engaging questioning. Firstly, I think it’s crucial to outline what we are trying to achieve when we think about the purpose of questioning, for me it includes the following:

  • Allowing students to develop a fuller understanding of a concept because they have tried to explain it
  • To easily recall existing knowledge
  • To be able to link the ideas in the lesson with existing knowledge
  • To tackle problems at a deep level and…

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5 unfortunate misunderstandings that almost all educators have about Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Helpful pointers to common misconceptions about Bloom’s…

Granted, and...

Admit it: you only read the list of the six levels of the Taxonomy, not the whole book that explains each level and the rationale behind the Taxonomy. Not to worry, you are not alone: this is true for most educators.

But that efficiency comes with a price. Many educators have a mistaken view of the Taxonomy and the levels in it, as the following errors suggest. And arguably the greatest weakness of the Common Core Standards is to avoid being extra-careful in their use of cognitive-focused verbs, along the lines of the rationale for the Taxonomy.

The 5 misunderstandings:

  1. The first two or three levels of the Taxonomy involve “lower-order” and the last three or four levels involve “higher-order” thinking.

This is false. The only lower-order goal is “Knowledge” since it uniquely requires mere recall in testing. Furthermore, it makes no sense to think that “Comprehension” – the 2nd

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What is differentiation?


What does good differentiation look like?  As Tamsin Page and Sue Gelder recently explored with our Teaching and Learning Group, the best differentiation isn’t bolted on.  Rather, good differentiation is at the heart of the planning process and should be considered at the start of our thinking, not the end.  What is that we want pupils to learn and think about?  How can this be deconstructed in ways that give everyone in the room access to the challenge?  The attached pdf offers a range of creative strategies – which is the right strategy for what you want pupils to learn?

Differentiation cards