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Why So Many Hands?: Insights From Student Questions Following Directions

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Josh Pernick

on 26 July 2013

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Transcript of Why So Many Hands?: Insights From Student Questions Following Directions

Categorized questions into "us" questions and "me" questions.
Why So Many Hands?:
Insights from Student Questions Following Directions

Josh Pernick

My Inquiry
Why are students asking so many questions?

How can I improve my directions so as to maximize student understanding of the assignment?
2 Humash lessons and 1 Math lesson.
Videotapes of my directions and the ensuing student questions.
Transcripts of my directions and student questions.
My Data
Analysis of Directions
Criteria for Effective Directions:
1) Clear: uses clear language without unnecessary repetitions.
2) Complete: gives students all the information they need.
3) Logical: provides information in a logical order.
4) Scaffolded: uses sensory aids as appropriate.
I analyzed 3 videos of my directions according to the following criteria.
3 main factors influenced the clarity of my directions:
1) Confidence in my giving of directions.
2) Simplicity/clarity of task and procedure.
3) Students simultaneously see and hear the assignment.
My Confidence
Clarity of Task
Implications for teaching
Impacts the clarity and completeness of directions.

Strategies for improving confidence:
Adjust physical stance.
Plan out the steps of the directions.
Impacts logic of directions.

Strategy to improve clarity:
Design assignments in a straightforward manner.
Questions related to clarity
Helps students understand the task.

Strategy to improve scaffolding:
Give students the assignment to read over as part of directions.
Questions related to scaffolding
I need to create separate structures for students to ask "me" and "us" questions.

I need to plan directions to be clear, complete, logical and scaffolded.
Questions related to my confidence
"Me" Questions
Led to decreased group attention to student questions.
Many could have been eliminated with clearer directions.
Analysis of Student Questions
"Me" questions:
Are we going to go to our regular Havruta spots?
Can people sit in big chairs?
How do we measure the points of the star?
Is everything going to be in Hebrew?
"Us" questions:
How are we supposed to measure the circle?

How big is the perimeter of the playground?

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