Having a Question of the Day can have a lot of benefits. It allows you to practice skills that need to be practiced on a routine basis, without the practice becoming mundane or boring.
What is a Question of the Day
A “Question of the Day” is a single question that is posed to students at the beginning of a class or as part of a daily routine. It serves as a prompt to engage students, stimulate their thinking, and initiate discussions or activities related to the topic being taught. The question can be open-ended, thought-provoking, or focused on a specific concept or skill. I love to use a question centered around an obscure days like ‘National Family Literacy Month’ or ‘Beverage Day’!
The purpose of a Question of the Day is to encourage critical thinking, foster curiosity, and promote active participation in the learning process. It can be used across various subjects and grade levels to spark discussions, develop problem-solving skills, reinforce prior knowledge, or introduce new ideas.
The question may be displayed on a board or projected on a screen for students to see and consider. Students are typically given time to reflect on the question individually or discuss it in pairs or small groups. Then, the responses can be shared with the class, leading to further exploration, debates, or collaborative activities.
The Question of the Day is a versatile tool that can be tailored to meet specific learning objectives and can be used in various ways to enhance classroom engagement and learning experiences.
How to Use a Question of the Day
Using a “Question of the Day” in a classroom can be an effective way to engage students, promote critical thinking, and stimulate classroom discussions. Here are five ways you can incorporate a Question of the Day into your daily routine:
1. Writing Prompt
Utilize the Question of the Day as a writing prompt to promote written expression and critical thinking skills. Ask students to write a short essay, journal entry, or even a poem in response to the question. This activity can help develop their ability to organize their thoughts, articulate ideas, and provide evidence to support their claims. Students should be writing everyday in multiple formats so students can do this writing during Morning Work, as a center rotation, or as a timed quick write to develop writing fluency.
One of the included items in the monthly Question of the Day resource is a page of journal prompt slips. You can tape or glue the strips on top of journal pages
2. Complete Sentences PracticeThis is why I started using a Question of the Day! I noticed my Second Grade students were struggling to write in complete sentence, but deeper than that, they were struggling to SPEAK in complete sentences. Students were writing the way they speak! To begin, I started by reading the question out loud and modeling by answering the question in a complete sentence before having students answer the question for themselves in a complete sentence. You can provide extra support for students by providing an answer stem so students know how to start their sentences. I also found it helpful to brainstorm possible answers.
For example, on National Smile Week, I would read the question “This week is National Smile Week! What makes you smile?” After giving a moment of think time, I would give an example such as “Books make me smile so I’ll write it down as an option. What else makes you smile?” As students answer, I would write the options on the board. After a few examples, I would model answering the question in a complete sentence “Books make me smile!” Then we would go around the room with everyone answering. In the monthly Question of the Day resource, you get an image file for each question which I used on our interactive screen.
3. Morning Meeting or Warm-Up Activity
Whether you have an official Morning Meeting or not, it’s important to have a set routine to start your day.
Begin each class session with a Question of the Day to help students transition into the learning mindset. Allow students a few minutes to reflect individually or discuss the question in pairs before sharing their responses with the class.
4. Speaking & Listening Practice
I remember when the standards for Speaking & Listening rolled out! I had no clue how to teach them… or give students practice with Speaking & Listening!
Using a Question of the Day can be an excellent opportunity to practice speaking and listening skills in the classroom. Here are a few suggestions!
Pair and share: After posing the Question of the Day, have students pair up with a partner to discuss their thoughts on the question. Encourage active listening by instructing each student to summarize their partner’s response. This practice promotes speaking skills as students articulate their ideas and listening skills as they attentively hear and process their partner’s input.
Whole-class discussion: After students have had time to think about the question individually, open up a whole-class discussion. Encourage students to share their responses, thoughts, and reasoning. Emphasize active listening by asking students to respectfully listen to their peers and build on each other’s ideas through follow-up questions or comments.
Speaking circles or fishbowl discussions: Arrange students in small circles or groups and provide them with the Question of the Day. Within each group, students take turns speaking and listening to one another, sharing their thoughts and responses to the question. This activity encourages active listening and creates a supportive environment for students to practice their speaking skills.
In my classroom, I read the question and we brainstormed possible answers. I wrote the answers on the board with the question. Then I modeled how to answer in a complete sentence. Students went around the room giving their answer in a complete sentence.
5. Conversation topics to build community.
Building a classroom community is a huge part of a successful school year.
Part of building a classroom community is everyone getting to know each other.
Having a Question of the Day makes that easier! You can have students answer the question orally to the whole class, share with a friend, or write the answer in a journal and swap with a classmate.
You can make up a new question of the day everyday OR you can use this Question of the Day resource!
Question of the Day Year Long Bundle
For each month, you get:
- numbered list of prompts
- directions & tips
- images of each question with an optional answer prompt (can be inserted into your own presentation software as needed)
- Cut & Paste journal prompts
- Digital Options- Links to Google Slides™, TPT Easel and directions for use in Seesaw™
Question of the Day Resources for Each Month
Try a FREE Question of the Day for Back to School
Share your experiences with the Question of the Day! How do you incorporate it in your classroom? Reach out to me via email at email@example.com or leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear from you!