Book Review By: Jessica Arnold, High School ELA
After reading Marzano's book, Questioning Sequences in the Classroom, I was able to implement a few of his strategies into my own teaching practices. Many of my students shut down or become frustrated if they don't immediately know the answer, so I wanted to be able to improve my questioning so that I am able to guide them to an answer without simply giving it to them. Marzano suggests asking questions in a specific order to lead students to deeper thinking as well as a greater understanding. Marzano feels that students should be asked questions about details which are then followed by questions about categories, questions that require students to elaborate, and questions that require students to provide evidence. I became intrigued with the idea of using categories to better help students understand concepts as well as asking them questions about those categories themselves. To begin implementing this idea into my classroom, I gave students their vocabulary terms for the unit and instructed them to separate those terms into one of three categories (figurative language, literary elements, and connotative meanings). Once students separated their vocabulary into one of these three categories, they had to identify the characteristics of each category. This helped students understand which vocabulary words dealt with which aspect of the unit. From there, I was able to ask students questions about the terms in regards to their categories. I think that this helped students not only have a more developed understanding of each vocabulary term, but they were also better able to identify and provide examples of each term.
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