M:How was your day?
M: Did you have fun?
M: what did you learn?
Sometimes getting your child to talk is hard! Maybe they are young and need to practice language more. Maybe they are older and tired! One strategy to help have better conversations with your children is open-ended questions.
A Question like “What color is that block?” evokes a one-word answer. But an open-ended question, “Tell me about the blocks you are using,” encourages a child to describe the blocks or explain what she is doing. There is no right or wrong answer here.
An answer to an open-ended question gives us a window into what the child is thinking and feeling. And the response is sometimes wonderfully creative. In explaining or describing, children also use language more fully.
It is difficult to change the closed-ended-question habit. But when we ask open-ended questions, children reap great benefits as they think through their responses to express what they want to say. And with their answers, we find out more about what they want to say. And with their answers, we find out more about what they think and feel.
M:Tell me about this (math test, notebook, essay)
K: Well we did this 3rd period. Here, look at this....
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.