Talk:Dan Fountain's Portfolio Page

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Comments on your topic and scope -- Jianwei Zhang 15:16, 28 February 2009 (EST)

Dan, your focus is on question asking in social study. Here are two issues for your to consider/clarify:

(a) Do you only want to focus on the teacher's questioning, or also how the teacher understand, encourage, and respond to student questioning?

(b) Do you have a specific research-based framework to classify questions? What references are you using?

As well, please think about how your mini-course will relate to the following one: Effective Questioning in the Classroom


Peer Review by Ashley Keegan -- Ashley Keegan 18:57, 18 March 2009 (EDT)


I really like the idea of your design project. I think that essential questions can help foster critical thinking as well as reinforce lower level skills. If I am correct, your intent is to teach teachers how to create, pose and reinforce essential questions right? I have a question regarding your Performance Objectives. Your first objective states In a social studies classroom, the student(Classroom Teacher) will be able to generate higher order thinking questions and pose them to their class at least 5 times a period. and the third objective states In a social studies classroom, the student(Classroom Teacher) will be able to compose authentic, real life, higher order thinking questions and initiate class responses at least 3 times a period. The first thing you want teachers to be able to do is generate and pose the questions without responses, while the third objective wants teachers to be able to obtain responses from students, correct? These two objectives seem very similar to me is it possible to combine them? Finally, are you going to create a lesson or provide more background on the IRF process to make sure teachers understand the complete process?

Re: Peer Review by Ashley Keegan -- DanFountain 11:27, 29 March 2009 (EDT)

Ashley, thank you for your quesitons I will have to clear them up. The all objectives hope to gain responses. The first objective focused on higher order thinking questions in general, where the third objective wanted the questions to be authentic, or relate to students lives. ~Dan

Review -- Melissastepanian 15:34, 21 March 2009 (EDT)

Dan -

As a social studies teacher myself, I also notice the importance of essential questions and how we could all use a course on its value and how we may improve our own questioning techniques. It's always amazing to me how, as educators, we all tend to spend a great deal of time in the metacognitive phase. As a result, we may over-plan and develop far too many essential questions. With experience, in addition to creating more higher-order questions, we must be able to limit our questions to a few which may spark tremendous debate and conversation. I also think it is a great idea to stress the idea of playing off our students' responses. We must always remember that our discussions should not only be teacher-student. Instead, we must have more student-teacher-student-student....

Good work!

Can't wait to see the finished product.


Re. objectives -- Jianwei Zhang 09:50, 29 March 2009 (EDT)

Dan, you have conducted the task analysis properly and thoroughly leading to clearly defined and sequenced objectives.

I'm thinking about the big idea you're using to frame the specific skills. It seems that you're treating questioning as the overarching theme and IRF as a specific skill. But it might be more productive to think of IRF as the overarching framing and questioning as a specific strategy. To enable IRF a teacher needs to formulate high-order, open-ended questions and also respond to student ideas through extended conversations. These are the subskills you're helping teachers to develop. IRF implies deep changes in classroom discourse pattern, and questioning is only a skill/strategy supporting this change. As Perkins' Teaching for Understanding framework suggests, it is important to identify generative topics and connecting specific facts/skills to big ideas. So think about this possibility of using IRF as the big idea.

Yueh-chen Wen has already developed a mini-course on IRF, so that you don't need to start from zero. You can highlight its meaning and significance and refer to Yueh-chen's course as an extended resource. Then you can focus more on questioning and discussions in social study classrooms. Unit_One_-_Introduction_and_Classroom_discourse (This mini-course was imported from a different wiki space and some pages are to be reformatted)

Re: Re. objectives -- DanFountain 12:11, 29 March 2009 (EDT)

Professor, Thank you for your suggestions. I thought about it a lot and I realized that you were right, my major goal was effective classroom discussion, not just the questioning aspect of it. I will work to modify everything accordingly. And thank you for the resources. ~Dan

engaging questions -- Susan.towey 18:02, 29 March 2009 (EDT)

Hi Dan,

I like your project idea very much, I have seen this done and not in the classroom, it seems those classroom teachers with experience using the "essential questions" in their classroom have more engaging lessons that still lend themselves to some of the lower level (yet necessary) components. I look forward to seeing and sharing your completed project.


Peer Review Ashley Keegan (4/25/09) -- Ashley Keegan 10:54, 25 April 2009 (EDT)


I thought your portfolio page looks great. You really took time to determine the prerequisities for each objective that you have created. Also, your intent and gathering information seem very well researched and written. I didn't see any actual lesson plans to comment on, I'm not sure if they aren't finished or just not linked up to your portfolio page. Otherwise, what you have done looks great.

Good luck!


A reference -- Jianwei Zhang 11:38, 27 April 2009 (EDT)

You may find this article helpful: File:Larson Social Studies.pdf

I'm looking forward to reviewing and providing feedback on a fully developed unit.

-- Melissastepanian 17:36, 27 April 2009 (EDT)

Hi Dan!

It looks like you are off to a great start! I believe that everything is very well organized and is in a step-by-step fashion which is clear. I believe you have focused on a great topic!