Question Mark or Period….

Think about this comment for a bit, then read on…

“Our children enter our education system as question marks, but leave as periods”

Creative Thinkering by Michael Michalko

Reflect a moment on how this could relate to our lives as learners. Will we end the year as a period or as a question mark?

As humans we are devoted to learning and problem solving, it’s integral to our lives. The vastness that is our world astounds me and I continue to be amazed and full of questions. My wonder, though, concerns our students and their desire to continue to explore.

Are we creating a culture where students are valued as question marks or does our culture create students who are periods?

Thinking back and reflecting on this past year, I wonder how many of the decisions that I’ve made have impacted students to lean more towards a question mark or towards a period.

Do my questions and expectations allows for students to be flexible in their thinking?

Do the activities and feedback that occur within our classes create opportunities for students to grow and expand their own understandings?

My challenge is to create learning opportunities where students experience flexible thinking, not just completing a task for a grade. My goal is to open up the minds of our students to new possibilities and to challenge the status quo of what has been to what possibly could be.

What will positively impact our students and their futures? What kind of activity could allow for that flexible thinking (question mark)? What kind of activity will cause a student to be a finisher (period)?

I know that we need flexible thinkers and I want to challenge us all to begin the new year with the goal to make all the questions, activities, and feedback be centered around building students as question marks not periods.

The culture of a learning environment is apparent with the way students interact through different learning opportunities.

How might you create a question mark culture to start this new decade?

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and sharing new ideas. Let me know in the comments. Thanks for taking the moment to consider how question marks and periods can positively impact our learning environments.


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