26 Questions to Ask Students in The First Week of School

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Today as I was browsing through my Twitter feed I stumbled upon this list of questions every student should be able to answer. The list is created by Terry Heick and spans a wide variety of topics relevant to students learning.

This is indeed a great material to use with your student in the first week of this school year. Get students to work together and answer the questions featured in this selection. Of course, there are some questions students won't have answers to. It's ok. They are not expected to answer all of them anyway.

questions for students

The importance of integrating questioning in your teaching pedagogy is two fold: first it provides students with an outlet to share their voice and actively participate in the  process of knowledge building in class. It also enables them to engage in self-reflection and meta-thinking which are two processes integral to students cognitive growth. 

Second, you can use all sorts of questions to conduct quick formative assessment in your class. Based on students responses, you can identify learning difficulties, uncover gaps, and provide individualized remediation. Or, you can use any of these games based tools to help you add elements of fun and interactivity  to your formative assessments.

Here is a round-up of the 26 questions students should be able to answer:

1. What do I need to know about you?

2. What do you need from me more than anything else?

3. What does success in the classroom mean to you?

4. What do you know about how people learn?

5. What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?

6. How can technology be used for learning?

7. What does it mean to understand something?

8. When was the last time you’ve solved a problem?

9. How do you respond to expectations?

10. What is your proudest moment?

11. What do you want to learn about?

12. Are you a picky reader? What are your strengths as a reader?

13. What is your personal philosophy?

14. When do you write best?

15. What’s worth understanding deeply?

16. What are your best habits as a thinker?

17. What’s most important to you in life?

18. What is the relationship between learning and #17?

19. Where does your inner drive come from?

20. Who are your heroes or role models?

21. Why study (insert your content area here)?

22. What are you good at that nobody knows?

23. What do teachers sometimes misunderstand about you as a learner?

24. What does it mean to study?

25. How do you respond to complex texts or digital media?

26. If I get out of your way this year, what will you be able to do?