Phew! I asked for one good question, and what you would have to know to answer it. I got, “Why would someone make that?” ,”Where is this?” Very, very few kids were able to come up with ideas for “how to figure out the answer” to their own questions. You have to go there, or ask the guy who made it. Since you can’t, you may as well give up.
So, next week, I think I’ll give a picture, ask 3 or 4 questions, and then they can pick a question and try and come up with what they might need to know to answer it. Clearly, students are not interested in questions they might be able to figure out. They are interested in, “Who is this guy sitting on the bench?” but only to google it and move on.
Kids did actually spend time googling the (Pearl River) bridge, as “bridge shaped like an 8.” They were proud of finding it, so I guess that’s something. This whole question thing is hard. I am not sure what to do with people who don’t ever ask questions that they cannot figure out the answer to. Here we are, asking questions like mad. Is this a microcosm of teachers, or is this the difference between adults and children (who feel they have no control), or between people who make a living wage and those who live in severe poverty (where there are no choices)?
Hey, we’re having a hard time just trying to get kids to figure out that they need the average of a set of numbers, without using the word “average.”
And, for those who care, Dan Meyers referencing your blog gives sends people to read it (for my reference, that’s the sudden huge spike in reader stats). For sure I blame Sam Shah (again), who told me that I could write as if nobody would read it.