Question of the day

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on July 10, 2014

in Classroom Management, Question of the Day

Question of the Day

One thing I had never tried in my classroom before this past year was asking the “Question of the Day!” The concept has been around for quite some time but it wasn’t until a discussion on “Question of the Day” came up on my Facebook page that I decided I would like to test the idea out for myself…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

After reading up on what other teachers were doing for the “Question of the Day,” I was surprised to find out that the question is generally supposed to have a “yes or no” answer.  I thought the questions would be open ended but then I realized that the question was also being combined with a chart where the children will add their names underneath to provide an answer. So I went with the “Yes or No” chart, added the children’s names underneath, and drummed up my first “Yes or No” question of the day.  Keep in mind, that the questions you see in this post are not in any particular order. I just added them to give you a sample of our different questions…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

However, I do want you to know that my first question of the day was “Do you like rainbows?”   As the children came into the classroom, Mr. Hayden or I greeted them at the door and invited them to answer our question of the day.  We read the question aloud then explained which side of the board was for “yes” (thumbs up) and which side was for “no” (thumbs down)…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

Everyone caught on quickly to the “Yes or No” part of the process. The children found their names and placed their names under the side of their choice. Everyone easily said “yes” to the rainbow question but I can tell you that the children did not find the question all that interesting or intriguing. In fact, the children seemed to look at me like it was a silly question to be asking them…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

So from that day on, I really thought through the questions I would ask. Here is the “Question of the Day” plan I came up with…

  1. Choose a question that would somehow be intriguing.
  2. Have the question up and on the board before the children come to school.
  3. As the children arrive at school, invite them to check in by answering our “Question of the Day.”

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

My plan also included…

  1. Invite the children to look over their answers and compare how many said “Yes” vs. “No.”
  2. Give the children time to discuss why they chose the answer they chose and elaborate on any thoughts the question might bring to mind.
  3. Use the question during morning circle as a springboard to the topic or book we plan to focus on or introduce that day.

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

After sticking with the routine for a week or so, the children got the hang of it and began to anticipate what question might be up for the next day or they would ask me as soon as they walked into the room, “What is our question today?” …

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

The most important point I want to stress here is that the question had to be intriguing. It needed to be something that wasn’t just as simple as the “yes or no” answer but rather the question went beyond the “yes or no” and led us to some type of conversation, reaction, interest, curiosity, or simply made us laugh…

Question of the Day Moms2015

 

I also needed to balance my questions so that there would be a reason to feel like it was okay to answer with a “no.” I didn’t want the children to get the impression that somehow saying “no” was a wrong answer.  I wanted the children to understand that the question wasn’t about a right or wrong answer but rather it was about participating in a discussion or making their own decisions…

Question of the Day Sunshine

On occasion, I would also include a word in the question that perhaps the children wouldn’t be familiar with and each time I did, the children would begin to ask me or each other what the word meant and the discussion about that word would spark further conversation to begin our morning circle with…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

For our class, the question of the day was a great way to begin discussion and to greet the children as they came into the classroom. It brought each child into the classroom experience as soon as they took off their jackets and headed over to the question board…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

Oh we had some silliness along the way like the ever popular putting your name upside down or saying “no” to any question for a few weeks just because it is okay to say no…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

And, of course, as the children came to preschool and found their name they were also spending lots of time getting familiar with their own names as well as the names of their peers…

Question of the Day by Teach Preschool

You may have experience implementing “Question of the Day” into your classroom. I would love to hear what really seemed to work for you and your students too! If you care to share with us, leave a comment below!

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The Question Mark Game by Teach Preschool

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Leave a Comment

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doris July 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

We do this at our school, too, and it’s a big hit! We make it part of our “News and Announcements” on the white board, but instead of putting their name under their answer, we have the kids put a tally. I’ve found that it helps avoid that “copying” of each other or wanting to be like their friend, and also helps avoid children being singled out (for example, last year we had one child who had no siblings and she was very conscious of being an only. It was hard on her – she really longed for a sibling).
I love the velcro idea, too! I’m going to use this in my classroom.

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2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Love the insight you share. I would definitely want to be sensitive to my students along the way as well! Thank you for adding your thoughts here today! Love it!

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3 Mary July 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I have never done this but I think it an awesome idea and I want to try it this year. I love your blog and your ideas. Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas and methods. I learn or gain something almost everyday and I’ve been teaching over 30 years.

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4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Thank you for such a sweet comment Mary! Made my whole day:)

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5 Jill July 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

We do this in our classroom, too. Each morning the children come in and answer the question of the day. They write their name on a white board (so they can practice writing their names) as their way of signing in, so we can see who’s here. We had a couple of students at the beginning of the year who struggled to write their name, and it was nice to be able to see their progress. But I like Doris’s idea of tally marks! Sometimes we ask yes and no questions, other times we ask “which do you prefer?” questions (Which do you prefer? is written at the top of the board, and there are 2 columns, each with a picture–ie, vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream). We’ve even asked the kids what questions they’d like to see on the board, too. They love seeing their question up there! We use the question of the day at morning circle, and ask them questions about more/less, estimation, and this is a good way to practice counting.
I love reading your blog Deborah! I’ve gotten some really great ideas. Thanks!

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6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Thank you Jill:) That is one thing I need to do more of – asking the children what kinds of questions they would like to add. In other words, I need to stop being so controlling over the question board! LOL!

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7 Kiernan July 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I love this idea for so many reasons, name recognition, critical thinking, conversation starters for circle time….I am also a bit intimidated by the prospect of thinking of a daily question! Definetly thought provoking.
Curious to hear from others who have done this and did it work in their classroom.
Thanks again for the post!

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8 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm

I know there are lists out there you can print or even a kit from Lakeshore you can purchase but for me, I really wanted the questions to come from my observations of the children. I decided that there will be those days that my question might fall a little flat but most of the time, they did very well!

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9 Karen July 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I too like to use question of the day. As the year progresses I enjoy using environmental print in either the question or the answer!

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10 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm

If you have a sec, can you come back and elaborate on how you use environmental print in the question or answer? Would love to learn more.

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11 Cheryl July 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I have used the “Question of the Day” on my Whiteboard with my Pre-K children during our group gathering at the beginning of the day. We start with yes/no questions such as Are You Wearing Blue Today? and then move on to questions that have multiple answers such as How Many Letters are in Your Name? After the children are done, we count how many children provided the answers, I write the number and we talk about quantities (most, least, same, different). I also provide opportunities for the children to talk about their answers. This is very effective for my EL children who are just learning English. Sometimes the question will change based on what the children are talking about during Table Time at the beginning of the day. The children get to see my write the question which is great for early literacy as well. I really love using the Question of the Day and will incorporate some of your ideas about using it for a springboard to our lesson.

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12 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm

That is one thing I am not doing is letting the kids see me write the question. Hmmmm, I may need to give it some thought!

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13 Ryann Hofmann July 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

We do this daily! We put ours on chart paper though and allow the children to write their name. Some trace (on pre-printed shipping labels), some copy from a model and others know how to write it without. We ask some yes/no questions, but we ask other types, as well, like, “What type of animal would you like to learn more about?” –dog, cat or something else. It was a great way to introduce a new topic and helped us to determine what we’d like to study a bit more.

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14 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I love your approach too and love using this for introducing our topic! I especially love how you use it to help determine what you want to study a bit more! Excellent idea!

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15 Cheryl July 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm

I use a question of the day at circle time. Some days it is a yes
Or no answer other days things are more open ended. At times as a child answers I will ask the next child to telle what the child before him/her answered and then what their answer is. I so this to work on the children’s listening skills.

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16 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Ah, so you mix it up then!

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17 Brenda July 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I use Officenote on my iPad. I divide it in half putting a Y on one side and N on the other. The leader then makes a tally mark under one or the other for students’ responses. I project this on the whiteboard for the class to see. The leader then counts the tallies ane we talk about which has more, etc.

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18 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Love the idea of adding tally marks Brenda!

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19 Katie July 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm

We used QOD this year from February on and we had the kids write their names under the Yes/No heading. sometimes we asked them to write their initials , or last names and sometimes we asked questions that weren’t yes/no answers! We usually tied the question to the theme of the day and like you, we used it to start our discussion at circle time. Our “Attendance Taker” (Prek job) used the QOD to see who was at school and allowed for lots of less/more/equal talk. A win all around!

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20 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm

HI Katie,
I liked starting the QOD later in the year as well. I think it works best once the children have a little time to mature so I am still deciding whether to try it earlier next year or stick with later. I love how you all write your names!

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21 Jenn July 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Hello!

What a great article! We also do question of the day in our kindergarten classroom. Towards the end of the year when the children have really grasped the concept, our leader of the day will come up with the question an it gets very interesting then! We also take the opportunity to incorporate math and we graph our responses, discuss more or less, counting etc. Although our questions are typically answered with yes or no, we also ask questions with choices (e.g favourite colour, favourite kind of apple etc.) and the children will add their name under the choice they prefer. This makes for fun graphing!

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22 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 10, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Oh, I love how your leader of the day will eventually come up with the question and I think I will spin in some open ended questions for the graphing and other ideas you mentioned. Oh I can’t wait until next year:)

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23 Hilary July 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I’ve always wanted to implement the question of the day idea but wasn’t sure how to go about it!! Thanks for the suggestions. It is definitely added to my NEW preK room this year

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24 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 11, 2014 at 12:29 am

Have fun with it Hilary!

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25 jan windham July 11, 2014 at 12:32 am

I love Question of the Day and can’t wait to implement it! Like the idea of tally marks. Think our “tallies” may vary each week, reinforcing a letter, shape, number or even sight word that we ‘re learning.

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26 Phyllis July 11, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I love question of the day!! I’ve used it in my class – but I put it on a clipboard and our “class reporter” goes around and collects the answers during center time. It’s really neat to watch the kids teaching their classmates how to spell their names by mid year. :)

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27 Scott July 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm

We did this at the beginning of the year this past year. I used a magnet board. Kids wrote names and decorated them on index cards; we added a magnet to back. (These were first graders.) I also had a class mascot (stuffed animal) that “asked” the question with a speech balloon. The mascot had a name card and voted too.

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28 Joy Lindgren July 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Thank you for the post! What age would you say is most appropriate for this activity. I have a “question of the day” during circle time that I state aloud to my students (3 year olds). I normally have them stand up or sit down in response to the question. They love doing this activity, but I find it’s difficult for many. I also do questions when having them return to their seats (i.e. “if you are wearing green today, find your seat”). I love your idea, just not sure how to incorporate in a 3 year old classroom. Thanks!

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29 Michelle July 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

I love this idea! I’m looking forward to implementing this in my classroom this year. Now to figure out where in my classroom to put it (since I’m totally redesigning my room this year). :-)

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30 Javona July 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I also found that my students had a tendency to follow a friend’s answer instead of giving an authentic answer. I changed the way we “measured” our answers and that stopped, and it amped up the student interest at the same time. Every week we would respond to the daily question in a different format. Here are a few of the ways we answered the daily question:

*labeling the buckets on a balance scale with yes and no and having students place a manipulative (marble, bear counter, etc.) in the bucket and then discussing the answer with the bucket that weighed the most/least/heaviest/lightest.

*using a pipette or dropper and filling it up with colored water and pouring your answer into a clear jar labeled yes/no. Answers measured while learning about and comparing volume.

*choosing one of two colors (representing yes/no answer) of unifix cubes (or any stacking object) and building the answer which is measured by height; tallest, shortest.

*using popsicle sticks placed in a cup labeled yes/no and then using the sticks to represent tally marks and learning to tally and count by 5′s

*having students place a marker on a series of ten frames (2 columns of them marked yes/no) and teaching students how to fill up a ten frame and to count by 10′s. I printed off several pages of 10 frames, laminated and stuck magnets on them to affix to the white board. Students used a round magnet to record their answers.

*using plastic links and having students link theirs to the one labeled yes/no and then measuring using length; shortest & longest. If you use 2 different colors to represent the answer, you can link both of the answers together in a circle and by drawing lines you can make a pie chart.

*have students vote using pennies (fake or real) in piggy banks labeled with yes/no then exchanging the coins (5 pennies for nickels, 2 nickels for dimes, etc.) and see which answer is worth more.

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31 Emily Simpson July 17, 2014 at 12:07 am

I used to do a “Nature Riddle of the Day” when I was a teacher/naturalist, and nature camp director. I like the idea of using a QOD as the child’s “check-in.” Thank you for sharing all of these great ideas!

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32 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 18, 2014 at 8:31 am

I love, love the idea of a Nature Riddle of the Day! So cool!

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33 Heidi Gonzales July 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

I use QOD in various different ways. I use yes/no questions, category choice questions ( favorite colors # in family! etched.), letter questions, questions to introduce a concept/idea, etc. Some days I pre-write the question and some days I write it with the kids. It gives me a chance to talk about how to write, and to model writing. We talk about the QOD at the end of our first circle of the day, which takes place about 30 min. after children arrive. The kids have the opportunity to get their name (or write it, depending my chosen method for the day) during free choice time and then when we have our end of day circle, we look at our responses. Sometimes we count, sometimes we compare, and sometimes we ask more questions! It varies daily, depending on the type of question, but the kids love it and look forward to this part of our day. I mentioned how we do names, and I change this up for variety, for documentation purposes, and for writing name practice-again depends on what I am looking for, have time for, or what I see the need is in our room each week. I always start our year out slowly. Names are provided, questions are simple and time spent at this activity is short.

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34 gladys vega July 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Hi Deborah,
I write the question of the day on a write board outside my classroom. Why?
It makes the parent stop and read what their child will be doing today, and they help their child with the answer to the question. I always ask,”what’s the question”. 18 hands shoot up.

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