A Teacher’s Guide to Using Our Student Opinion Questions

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A Teacher’s Guide to Using Our Student Opinion Questions

Some questions to reflect on after watching the video:

  • What stood out to you? Why?

  • What questions do you have?

  • What are the three priorities that Ms. Shah identifies? Do you share any of these priorities in your teaching?

  • In the middle of the video, Ms. Shah and her students talk about various “writer’s moves” that they practice with Student Opinion questions. Which of these writer’s moves do you want your students to practice?

  • At the end of the video, Ms. Shah and her students talk about engaging in authentic conversations. In what ways do you have your students build conversational skills, as well as develop and deliver their opinions?

Feel free to share your reflections in the comments section of this post.

Examples From Other Teachers
Ms. Shah’s approach is just one of many ways that we see teachers using Student Opinion questions in the classroom. Here are some additional examples of ways teachers have used this feature across different grade levels and subject areas:

I use this every week, with every class. Students respond first to me via Google Docs, then after spell check they copy and paste their response into the comments. My students are extremely eager every week to see if anyone was published in the What Students Are Saying About feature. The Student Opinion response has literally become part of the fabric or culture in my class. — Donna Cubbage, middle school English teacher

I use it every Friday. I create a Nearpod lesson with collaboration boards, polls and embed videos, and use the draw-it feature for guided reading before the students write their opinions. — Debbie Domingues-Murphy, high school librarian

Students love using this as a warm-up, then having a Philosophical Chairs style debate. They have also used these topics as a starting place for further research. — Tiffany Mathes, high school English teacher

I like to use it when I want students to really think about their “position” before launching into a unit. A great way to work current events into my lessons and get students to see connections with literature from “long ago” and issues that are relevant today. — Amy Chappuis, high school E.L.L. teacher

Carla Cefalo, a health teacher, explains in this post how she uses our prompts — on topics like relationship building, mental health, self-care, bullying and social media — to discuss a range of social-emotional issues and engage students in discussions around healthy choices.

And Steve Weisblatt, a community college instructor, explains in this post how he uses our Student Opinion questions as prompts for English-language learners to practice writing and critical thinking skills in preparation for his college’s English-proficiency test.

So far, you’ve tried out a Student Opinion prompt yourself, learned more about the feature and explored ways that teachers have used it in their classrooms. Now we encourage you to try this out in your own classroom.