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Description of Implementation:

Phase One of my inquiry project was a challenging experience, but with the guidance of my
master teacher and professor, I was able to successfully implement the project and guide the
students to think more deeply about what they read by utilizing with student-created, higher-
order questions. The results from the first phase of the inquiry were not as overwhelmingly
positive as I had hoped; however, a steady increase in my students depth of knowledge did
occur. The main instructional strategy throughout this phase was the use of collaborative
discussion. These discussions occurred between myself and the students, and also among the
students, themselves. For, example, I often started the discussion by modeling my thought
processes regarding the deeper meaning questions that I would use for a reading assignment.

Prior to my first day of Phase One, I created a wall poster in the language arts area of our
classroom with the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) descriptions and sentence starters from lowest to
highest order thinking skills. I then displayed student work under each DOK Level based on
students DOK created questions. I planned for Week 1 to be represented by a yellow
background and Week 2 to be represented by a blue background so that students would be able
to identify their depth of knowledge questioning growth both individually and as a whole class. I
had hoped that students would feel ownership for the deeper meaning questions that they had
created and also for them to be able to identify their levels of thinking according to the DOK
charts on the wall.

Student Feedback Form:

To begin Phase One, I inquired about students feelings regarding developing deeper meaning
questions and answers based on a piece of literature. The students had a choice to answer on a
continuum from all the time to never when giving their feedback to my questions. Results
from this student feedback informed me that the students lacked either confidence or
understanding in terms of deeper meaning questioning, which was evidence of student need for
the first implementation of Depth of Knowledge (DOK) questioning in the classroom.
Week 1:
I began my first week of Phase One by introducing students to the book Jumanji by Chris Van
Allsburg. The students were extremely excited to read this book as it is filled with imaginative
action and adventure. Since my students work most effectively in groups, I divided them into six
groups of five and had each student in the group read a page of the story and so on. Once all
groups were finished reading Jumanji, the students returned to their desks and I read the story
aloud once more with all students following along. I reread Jumanji a second time to my students
because often I find that the first time they read a story they are more focused on the reading
aloud component, whereas when I read the story to them a second time, they can listen for more
details and understanding.
Following our reading of Jumanji, the students and I had a whole class discussion about what
deeper meaning questions are and why they are important when reading. I shared with students
that deeper meaning questions require more than just an answer they can find in the book. Then I
asked my students why they thought deeper meaning questions would be important? Some
student answers included: Because then you can understand the book more, Because answers
from the book are easy, Maybe so you can relate to the book more. With these responses, I
then added that deeper meaning questions are important in reading because a reader can connect
with the book in different ways, experience it more closely, and have a much better
understanding of the story and the meaning behind it. I also gave an example question from
Jumanji that asked what the main characters names were. All of the students raised their hands
right away to answer the questions, with this visual I then asked the students, If this many
people can think of the answer right away, do you think it is a deeper meaning question? I
observed that this helped students who still felt unsure about deeper meaning questions
understand how to create them now.
After our class conversation, I challenged my students to create their best deeper meaning
question possible and to post it on my blog under the following prompt:
J umanji DOK Questions: Please post a deeper meaning question for the book, Jumanji.
Once your question has been approved by me, another person from your group will be
responding to it. Remember, a deeper meaning question cannot be answered with just a
few words or the same answer from everyone. A deeper meaning question makes you
think within the reading and/or makes connections outside of the story itself.

I reminded my students that once something is on the internet it cannot just be seen by me or my
master teacher anymore, it is accessible to the WHOLE WORLD! This meant that students
needed to not only be diligent about their grammar and spelling when posting their question, but
to also make sure it represented their best self and efforts. The student-created deeper meaning
questions for Jumanji can be found here under Miss Hendersons blog.

By the end of the week, all of the students had successfully posted their questions on my blog
and were ready to respond to one of their peers deeper meaning questions. I instructed the
students to pay close attention to the types of answers their peers questions required. I also
asked students to identify if their answers to their peers questions came straight from Jumanji or
if they had to think more deeply beyond the text to answer the question. I observed that as
students were reading each others questions, they would quickly raise their hand to share with
me their thoughts. A few student comments included: I could answer that question right away,
so can I answer another one too? or This question is really hard! While turning to said student
saying, Good job!
Week 2:
Prior to the beginning of the second week of Phase One, I arranged all of the student-created
deeper meaning questions for Jumanji on the DOK wall chart in the classroom.

I used the DOK leveled results of the student-created deeper meaning questions for Jumanji to
guide my instruction at the start of Week 2. I introduced the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) wall
chart to the students pointing out the different DOK levels 1-4. I explained to the students that as
their questions grew in deeper meaning so did the DOK level number. I then defined DOK Level
1 questions as questions that can be answered right away or found in the book, and told the
students that they were going to learn how to identify DOK Level 2 and Level 3 questions today.
I divided the class into two groups and conducted student-teacher conferences with those two
smaller groups to look at the Jumanji student-created DOK questions and where they were
placed on the DOK wall chart. I worked with each small group to identify a Level 1 DOK
Jumanji question, and develop it into a Level 2 and then Level 3 DOK question by looking at the
different key words used in each Depth of Knowledge level and the sentence starters provided
within each DOK levels chart. I observed that students began to use the key words from each
DOK level to make the question have deeper meaning. I also observed my more timid students
have more confidence in stating their reasons why certain questions had a deeper meaning or not
with the use of the DOK wall chart.

In the middle of Week 2 I read aloud the book, Zathura to the students in the same two smaller
groups that I had just finished conferencing with about developing their Jumanji DOK Level 1
questions into deeper meaning DOK Level 2 and Level 3 questions. I only read Zathura until
page 4 the first day as it is the sequel of Jumanji that had dramatically engaged the students. I
observed that students were so excited to find even more meanings and comparisons between the
two stories by Chris Van Allsburg. Then, together in each group we created a deeper meaning
question, which ideally started at DOK Level 1 or Level 2. With my guidance, the students and I
practiced what they had learned at the beginning of the week with the student-created Jumanji
questions by developing the group-created Zathura questions into DOK Level 3. This second
experience with developing a piece of literatures questions more deeply was beneficial for my
students because they had opportunities to make many meaningful connections, predictions, and
elaborations based on the two stories, Jumanji and Zathura, which are essentials for depth of
knowledge questioning.
After this guided practice with creating a deeper meaning question based on Zathura, I finished
my read aloud of Zathura with each group of students. The students then showcased their
learning and knowledge of deeper meaning questioning and DOK Levels by posting their own
deeper meaning question about Zathura on my blog under the following prompt:
Zathura DOK Questions: Please write your deeper meaning question based on our
reading of Zathura. Once your question has been approved by me, another person from
your group will be responding to it. Remember, a deeper meaning question requires a
multiple sentence response and usually creates different opinions. A deeper meaning
question makes you think, compare/contrast, predict, elaborate, or make connections
within a reading and/or outside of the story itself.

To complete Week 2 of Phase One, the students answered their own Zathura DOK question on
my blog. I mediated their response feedback prior to approving the student work by asking which
DOK Level each student thought their deeper meaning Zathura question fit based on the answer
it required.
Over the weekend between Week 2 and Week 3 of my first phase of inquiry, I responded to each
of my students deeper meaning question and answer based on Zathura. Feedback I provided for
my students included asking questions to spark deeper thought, noting that without proper
grammar the meaning of a students question may get lost, and asking if their questions could be
simply answered from the books text or not. A full review of the students work and my
subsequent feedback can be found here.
Throughout Week 3, I conferenced with students in small groups to give them feedback on their
Zathura deeper meaning questions and answers. The students then responded to my questions or
statements on my blog under the Zathura DOK questions post in order to better explain the
meaning behind their questions or answers. I worked with students on a more individual level to
identify the DOK level their question met, and we filled the DOK wall chart with the new
student-created Zathura questions to track student progress and success.