A Critical Thinking Questioning Framework For Guided Reading.

I have been lucky enough to have been asked to write a follow up app to the hugely successful ‘Questioning Framework For Guided Reading’ by Alan Peat. When Alan approached me with the opportunity to write it, I was very excited. Helping pupils to develop a love of reading has been an area of deep interest throughout my career.

I wanted this app to be very targeted, to focus on the key comprehension skills that children need. I used the Key Stage 2 SATs as a starting point, picking out areas of comprehension that had been assessed regularly over the years. This led to the ten areas covered in the app. Although, working on these areas with children will help them with their SATs, they are also important areas of comprehension regardless of the SATs.

The critical thinking framework helps to build up children’s prowess in each of the comprehension areas although they are not necessarily hierarchical as we are dealing with little human beings after all. Rather, it helps to ensure a deeper understanding of each of the ten comprehension areas.

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The app has been designed to:

  1. Focus children’s thinking and
  2. To be a practical aid for the busy teacher

The questions could also be used to prompt other questioning from the teacher as I believe it is easier that way instead of starting with a blank page and thinking ‘I need some questions about sequencing’. With the app, you have questions ready-made which may lead to you devising your own that fit your particular group/class as the app is designed to be used with a broad range of texts rather than a specific book.

My hope is that the app is suitable for both whole class reading sessions as well as guided reading group sessions as the choice of texts to use the questions with is made by the teacher. The note-making facility means that, as a teacher, you are able to make formative assessments during the reading sessions which can be saved to Dropbox. This adds an extra dimension to the app.

Alan and I hope that the app will provide a useful focus for staff discussion regarding structured questioning. We also believe that reading should primarily be perceived as engaging in its own right.

Easy Ways To Use Google Forms

Google forms is a nifty piece of software that is free! It allows you to very quickly create online forms for people to complete. Usefully, the results are automatically collated into a spreadsheet for you. A form takes a few minutes to set up and you can choose the type of responses you want, from multiple choice to paragraphs. Once created, you can generate a link to the form for people to follow to fill it in.

There are many ways that Google forms could be used in school. Here, I will describe two ways.

Assessment

Google forms can be used as an exit ticket at the start and then end of a lesson, unit of work. You can compare the two spreadsheets to give you information about attainment and progress. Forms works on any device – iPads and computers so vavailable equipment shouldn’t be a problem. You could always set up slightly different forms for different groups.

Pupil Voice

As a subject leader , this one of the tasks you are often required to carry out, the arguments about its value are for another post. I used to spend lots of of time trying to pin down (not literally) children to answer questions about my subject. Now, I set up a Google form. Once I have done this, I save a link to it in a place that children have access – shared network , Dropbox etc. I let the staff know it’s there and they get children to fill them in when there is an opportunity to do so. This way you are not disturbing lessons to take children out to interview them. All I need to do then is look at the spreadsheet that is automatically generated and, voila, I have my student voice information.