Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Question of the Day - Great Way to Promote Writing and Get to Know Your Students Better

Question of the Day is something both my students and I love doing in our class. Each day I post a question on my board. 

This is an "optional" question that students can answer if they want to. Sometimes the questions are silly, sometimes they're serious, sometimes they are about school, sometimes they are about home. I mix it up to keep it engaging and fun. Students are allowed to write their answers on sticky notes and then post their answers up on the board. I ask students to write their answers during any free time, Daily 5, or writing time. It is super fun to read their responses throughout the day. At the end of the day, we take 5 minutes right before we leave to read through all the answers. This gives the kiddos a chance to listen to their peers' responses and get to know each other better. I also learn a LOT about my students from doing this. Because this is an optional activity, I sweeten the pot a little bit by offering a fake penny to each student who writes an answer (we use a coin system to buy non-tangible rewards in my class). Then, I place all the answers in a cup or bucket and have my helper of the day draw 1 name out. That person gets a fake nickel as a "reward." This also gives me a chance to embed good sportsmanship opportunities. :-) 

I've discovered that this is a really great way to build classroom community and climate. I learn a lot about my students, and I will often write my own answers too, and the students love learning about me. I invite visitors coming through to write responses also - the students get a kick out of that (i.e. other teachers, the principal, etc...)! This is one quick and easy way to integrate writing, speaking, and listening easily and quickly into the classroom, and it helps me to build relationships and positive classroom while only taking about 5 minutes of class time. 

The possibilities for how to use these questions are really quite endless. While I do mine on the board, you could make a bulletin board, you could have students write responses in notebooks or on iPads, you could have students share with partners by doing Mix n' Match or another cooperative learning strategy, you could use these as journal prompts, etc... 

Thinking of the questions is always the hardest part about these. For a no-prep option, please see my TPT store to download a whole set of questions (220 questions to choose from) already typed and prepped. All you have to do is print and cut in half! I've also included two different versions of the QOTD (question of the day) pennant banners I created to go with the questions. I will be throwing a sale on this item for 20% off now through Friday! Click HERE or click the picture below:

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