Ask Essential Questions

Standards describe what students know and are able to do. Performance indicators describe the evidence for achieving a standard.

Objectives: should be phrased in terms of student learning: e.g. students will be able to demonstrate, explain, apply, interpret, etc.

Essential Questions: Derive from the six facets of understanding defined by Wiggins and McTighe, authors of Understanding by Design. (ASCD, 1998; 2nd expanded edition, 2005.) Essential questions:

address the philosophical or conceptual foundations of a discipline
recur naturally throughout one's learning
raise other important questions, often across subject-area boundaries
have no one obvious right answer
are framed to provoke and sustain student interest

Some sites that explore essential questions:

For the Best Answers, Ask Tough Questions by Joyce Valenza.
What types of questions did you ask today? Ask your students to generate questions, too.
The Role of Questions in Teaching, Thinking and Learning
from the Center for Critical Thinking.
A Giant List of Really Good Essential Questions
from te@chthought.

Standards Addressed: Explore state and national standards for your content area. See also ISTE Standards and AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.

Rubrics are a great way to help students see what they are expected to know and be able to do. Kathy Schrock's collection of assessment and rubric information includes rubrics for student-created web pages, PowerPoint presentations, video productions, oral presentations, portfolios, and graphic organizers as well as links to other  rubric sites. Use rubistar to customize your rubrics from a template.

Links collected by Janet Murray
Last updated October, 2015.