Locus of control…

In my never-ending quest for better questioning techniques, I’ve been packing up some new resources. My VideoScribe video is based on the Harvard Educational Publication guide for QFT.

  1. Teaching As Dynamic “4 Strategies to Ask Better Questions”
  2. Harvard Education Publications on the Questioning Formulation Technique

Encouraging students to talk more, question more, take chances more has proved to be a big challenge this year. I’m not sure why. I think some of our instruction was turned upside-down, so the foundation of being comfortable with one another, questioning, taking risks, etc. wasn’t laid down at the beginning of the year, but it’s never too late to correct course. I’m writing this to remind myself that next year the flow should be Who we are as readers/writers >Asking and generating questions >claim, evidence, reasoning. If students know how to ask solid, open-ended questions that engage them, they’ll have ownership as to the “why” and the “reasons,” therefore will be more engaged. That’s the idea, anyway. 

Here are some slide links I created to help you get started with your own QFT:

[embeddoc url=”” viewer=”microsoft”]

QFT ideas

Here are possible Learning Targets and Success Criteria you may want to use or modify for a QFT lesson:

  • In order to think critically about any subject, we must first learn how to question and challenge that subject or topic. This way, we can think about a topic from multiple ideas more deeply.
  • Success: By the end of _______, I will be able to generate up to _____ (number) of questions, and prioritize into the 3 most important open-ended questions about a topic. This task will enable me to demonstrate higher level thinking about this topic. (Refer to DOK chart)


Here are the CCSS and the TPEP rubrics that mandate student questioning:

Common Core addresses questioning:

Comprehension and Collaboration:

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

TPEP (many Washington State schools use this teacher evaluation system).

One of the most subjective and potentially damning of the criterion is the ‘student engagement’ piece.