question-mark3a.jpgLearning Lab TWO: Sorting for CLOSED and OPEN Questions


Task: Understand the difference between CLOSED and OPEN questions. Be able to use STEM questions to coach the shift from CLOSED to OPEN questions - so what? now what? what if? which? how?
Driving Question: What is the reasoning/thinking question that will BEST drive the understanding of key concepts for studying animals?


Grouping Strategy Team Pairs will join up in same WALLWISHER with other room groups having the same number working as a collective think tank to generate, sort and select BEST of the BEST reasoning/thinking question. Use the following URL links to access the group wall assigned to your team:

  1. Wallwisher ONE
  2. Wallwisher TWO
  3. Wallwisher THREE
  4. Wallwisher FOUR
  5. Wallwisher FIVE
  6. Wallwisher SIX
  7. Wallwisher SEVEN
  8. Wallwisher EIGHT

Directions: ACT AS IF are a student being asked to help design questions that will be considered when the class begins their animal unit. While all questions are acceptable as a starting point - we are being challenged to create BIG OPEN questions that have no right answer - that will make us think and learn what we need to know about animals along the way.

  1. FIrst generate questions making as many OPEN questions as you can. The goal is not to have lots and lots but to warm your brains up to crafting GREAT questions.
  2. Next when the ideas seem to be mostly posted, sort the post-it-notes into CLOSED and OPEN categories by moving the CLOSED questions to the left side of the screen and the OPEN Questions to the right of the screen. Check with team mates that all questions to the right have no right answers - that they would require logic-based or evidenced based thinking.
  3. Last choose the most interesting, compelling OPEN question that would be worth your time in class to answer during the animal unit.


Sharing / Reflecting Thinking Post your selected OPEN question to the Micro-Blog when finished. Everyone will be on the topic of animals - so move into curiosity about the similarities and differences in participants choices being posted.


This Task Brought to You by Technology Tools / Resource Links:
  • Wallwisher.com (real time collaborative brainstorming using mobile post-it-notes)
  • TodaysMeet.com (micro-blogging for participation / engagement / reflection)


ABOUT Wallwisher: This is a small group real-time tool with no user registration, sign-up or email enrollment to participate - just sharing out the URL will allow anyone to join the task. Even though the software does not limit how many users can participate, at some point there are so many post-it-notes displayed that it creates a visual mess not useful in thinking or organizing ideas. That is why we are using four rooms for the same topic - needed more "air" or work space. All viewers can move the post-it-notes around locally but the site will revert back to the original positions AFTER logging off. However the owner of the wall can permanently move, edit or delete the post-it-notes contributed - these changes will remain even after logging off. ONE unique feature is the ability to add a hot link to a web-based resource - a great option - HOWEVER I have found that movie links drag down the internet so I do not recommend linking to video.

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