L. Lipton, B. Wellman, and C. Humbard (2001)* provide some helpful advice to mentors about the strategic kinds of questions they might pose to their mentees. In particular, they argue that well-designed mentor questions can evoke two different kinds of thinking in their mentees:
1. thinking that activates prior knowledge and engages the mentee
2. thinking that is expansive and invites the mentee to explores options
The chart below identifies sample questions from each of the above categories before teaching a lesson.
Sample Strategic Questions A Mentor Can Pose to a Mentee Prior to Teaching a Lesson
(*Lipton, et al., 2001)
Sample questions that activate prior knowledge and engage the mentee
Sample questions that are expansive and help the mentee explore options
· What are some of your current questions or concerns about this lesson?
· What essential questions are you going to ask during the lesson?
· What evidence will your students demonstrate to prove that they understand your objective for the lesson?
· What assessments will you use for this lesson?
· Does your lesson meet the needs of ...?
· Why did you choose to use direct instruction as the method to teach this lesson?
· How do you plan on handling ... if he disrupts the class?
· How does this lesson relate to enduring Jewish knowledge?
· Are there other essential questions that can be incorporated into this lesson?
· Are there other assessments you can use for this lesson?
· Are there other methods of teaching that you might use for this lesson?
· Given this opportunity to think through your lesson plan, what are some specific actions you intend to take to ensure success?
As you reflect on your lesson, what are some of the things that come to mind?
· What are some of the differences between what you have planned and what we have discussed today?
* Adapted from Lipton, L., Wellman, B. & Humbard, D. (2001). Mentoring Matters: A Practical Guide to Learning-focused Relationships: Sherman, CT: Mira Via, LLC.On the next blog post we will share sample strategic questions a mentor can pose to a mentee after teaching a lesson.