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 Questions for Thinking: before, during, and after the task

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Ploypailin028
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PostSubject: Questions for Thinking: before, during, and after the task   16th November 2015, 10:03 pm

Creative Dialogue
Talk for Thinking in Classroom

Questions for Thinking

Before the task: planing stage

We can encourage thinking before doing - both at the cognitive (What are we going to do?), and the metacognitive level (What do we need to think about?). Before a task we do this, for example, by discussing the learning objectives and making links to previous leaning and previous ways of learning. Because metacognition is about what the children themselves think it is not enough to tell them what they previously learnt and what the learning objectives are; we need to help them to think and express these in their words. Questions that might help this process include:


  • Have you learnt anything like this before?


  • What do we need to think about/remember?


  • What are we trying to learnt today?


During the task: monitoring stage

We ca stop and monitor our thinking during the task. This means not just talking about what we have done (though it might include this) but what we should be thinking about and how we should be learning. Because metacognition is about the 'me' in thinking, again we encourage children to reflect on and say what they thinking about they are doing.

This monitoring or self-regulation of learning can be prompted by metacognition questions, at first shared and hopefully internalisted at an individual level.

Metacognitve questions: At the shared level
"How are you doing?"
"What must you remember?"
"What is the process/strategy involved?"
"What do "you find difficult?"
"What do you need to think about and do?"
"What will happen if you do this?"
"Does it work/make sense?"

Metacognitve questions: At the individual level
"How am I doing?"
"What must I remember?"
"What is the process/strategy?"
"What do I find difficult?"
"What do you need to think about/do?"
"What will happen if I do this?"
"Does it work/make sense?"


After the task: review stage

At the end of a task can come the review, plenary or debriefing stage. Review involves reflecting back on your own thinking and learning, aid by Socratic questions - that is, questions that lead children thinking from concrete examples towards ideas. Plentay discusstion can help this process. Thinking about thinking at this stage depends on;


  • tasks being worth serious thought


  • thinking and reasoning being valued


  • time being given for discussion and review.


Reference: Fisher, Robert. (2009) Creative dialogue : talk for thinking in the classroom. London : Routledge, pp 29-30.

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