We have a problem with curiosity in our classrooms.
Observations find that entire classes of kids ask essentially zero curious questions. This starts in kindergarten.
An individual kid may go an entire year without asking a curious question.
As teachers, we want to blame our curriculum, other students, time constraints, etc.
But, friends, as a teacher I said all kinds of things to my students that discouraged questions. I was the biggest barrier to student curiosity because I made asking questions scary when I said things like:
All of these statements (unintentionally) kill curiosity. The whole class clams up. Asking a question becomes dangerous.
With the puzzlements mailer, we’re looking to establish four things (this comes from Susan Engel’s work. Read it!):
All you need to do: decide which links to use, show them to your students, and then periodically stop and ask:
That’s it! No homework; no assignment; no prep (other than selecting an appropriate puzzlement). You’ll find that, over time, kids will bring in their own ideas, create their own versions of videos, and become more confident as wonder-ers.
All because you changed the culture of the classroom!
This will probably take time. Your students are not used to being curious at school. Give them three or four weeks to build trust in you. They'll slowly learn that it really is ok to wonder.
And, again, do not assign homework or create classwork out of these questions or you’ll quench the fire.
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