Think Tank - Class KWL

Think Tank
Time Frame:
5-10 minutes - can be adapted to meet the needs of individual students, small groups or entire class
We all know the potential value of KWL or KWHL charts to document what students know, want to know, how they might learn it, and what they have learned. Imagine using a wiki page for students (and the teacher) to post questions that haven't been answered or answered thoroughly in class throughout the course of a project or unit. Then, interested students can research and answer the questions on their own time. Or, if they remain unanswered and are important/interesting enough, they can become part of a lesson or assignment.
  1. Before a new topic/project/unit begins, the teacher sets up a wiki page or section of a wiki page for the Think Tank.
  2. At anytime before, during, or after a class session, students post interesting questions. Teachers can pause a lesson/discussion for a student to post a question in the middle of class.
  3. Students address/answer the questions on their own time. Remind students to be clear enough in their response so others can “see” their thinking (this will take practice) and to cite their sources. Also remind students that they can use multimodal communication to ask/answer a question.
  4. Classmates can review each others answers for correctness, completeness, and citations using the discussion board. Students can also consider explanations posted by others and offer feedback, ask questions, challenge thinking, explore new or different connections, etc.
  5. Optional - Think InnoCentive - Each open ended question answered is worth a test question as is each answer that is corrected or expanded meaningfully. How many factual/recall type questions would be worth a test question?
  • Common Core Standards
  • EngagEd
    • Communication
    • Metacognition
    • Problem-Solving
    • Multiple Media/Representations
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