March 15 2017

Principal’s Message March 15, 2017

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. —Matthew 7:7

The importance of questions. We encourage the students to be enquirers and to ask questions not just to clarify when they do not understand something, but to get answers to those burning questions they have in their learning. At home, we would like to encourage parents to ask their children questions as well.
Last week, we started explaining IPC’s 9 areas to embed learning and touched upon questions that can be asked to discover what children have been learning in class. Asking questions is easy, but getting children to answer beyond a few-words can be difficult at times when he or she does not offer much.

Communication is an art and there are ways to ask questions that can elicit a more insightful answer from your child about how their day went and what they learnt.

The following are tips on how to formulate questions taken from

  • Try to ask open-ended questions to keep a conversation going. If you ask your child questions that can be answered with one word (yes, no, a name), then you’ll probably get a one-word response.
  • Often kids are not specific, so you have to ask for specific information when you want it.
  • Starting with factual questions is a great way to ease into conversation.
  • Avoiding emotion-packed words (happy, sad, mean) can help the conversation go on longer.
  • Asking positive questions gives your child a chance to express concerns. Negative questions tend to stop a conversation.

You can also help students to focus their answers by asking questions that go from the general to specific to help students access their memory and recall better. If you ask students what they learnt today, some may say “electricity” (for example). You can follow-up with a question about what it is about electricity that they learnt about. To further gain an understanding of activities your child was engaged in and what they were learning, you can further ask them what they did that was related to electricity. Ask why they think they did this activity and what skill they were trying to learn or perhaps what they were trying to prove if it was an experiment.

The whole process takes time and active listening, but with practice, children will be better at explaining themselves and sharing about their learning and school life.