Brainstorming possible questions for students for reflection about their learning:

Have you ever thought about how you learn? Think of times, either inside or outside of school, where you learned something really well. What helped you learn? Try to be as specific as you can. Was it the setting? Was it the teacher? Was it your motivation? Was it your attitude? Think hard about those things that are helpful to your learning. If it was not one of those listed, what was the thing that turned you on to learning?

Think about a time in school when you were excited about learning and you felt that you learned something that was important to you. What was that? Be specific about what made the learning exciting.

What would motivate you to learn if the topic was not something you were particularly interested in? Again, be as clear and detailed as you can.

How could teachers do a better job of making students a part of the solution to making class a place where learning is something to enjoy and look forward to?

What ways could technology be used to help teach some of the things that are already being taught in your class?

Think of something you’d like to change at this school. Focus on something that affects your learning. Explain the steps that need to be taken to put this change in place.

What skills do you think are needed to prepare you for the real world? What should you be learning? Give reasons. If you think something is irrelevant that you currently are being taught, give reasons.

When you learn something new at school do you make a connection to something that you already knew that was related to it? Give an example.

Visualize the ideal classroom. Write about it in great detail. Make the class come alive through your writing.

Be creative. Think of ways to teach and learn some of the same skills that teachers seem to have to teach over and over.

A lot of adults are saying that education needs to change. They believe we are teaching like we have for years and years and years. They do not think we are preparing students for the 21st century. Jobs change, information changes and the feeling is that we need students who are critical thinkers and problem solvers. Do you agree? What do we need to change about education to achieve that? Do you disagree? Why?

Now I know these are tough, especially knowing that we don’t have the answers ourselves but I have found that if you present these questions to students and give them practice they begin to think “deeper”. When I taught in the elementary, I always headed for high school resources when preparing my lessons. The elementary material was dumbed down. They are worthy of far more “stretching”. They don’t know how at first, but you guide and get them thinking. Bump it up! (as I say to the kids!)

Of course, you wouldn’t give them all of these at once. I usually let them pick one to blog. They love having choices.

I welcome input or additional questions……