A teacher’s guide to using our student opinion questions

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Some questions to ask yourself after watching the video:

  • What struck you? Why?

  • What questions do you have?

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

  • In the middle of the video, Ms. Shah and her students talk about various “writing movements” that they practice with student opinion questions. Which of these writing movements 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 ask your students to develop conversational skills, as well as to develop and express their opinions?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section of this article.

Examples of other teachers
Ms. Shah’s approach is just one of the many ways we see teachers using student opinion questions in the classroom. Here are some more examples of how teachers have used this feature in different grade levels and subjects:

I use it every week, at every class. Students respond to me via Google Docs first, then after spell checking they copy and paste their response into the comments. My students are extremely excited every week to see if anyone has been posted in the What Students Say About feature. The response of student opinion has literally become part of the fabric or culture of my class. – Donna Cubbage, College English Teacher

I use it every Friday. I create a Nearpod lesson with built-in collaboration boards, polls, and videos, and use the draw-it feature for guided reading before students write down their opinions. – Debbie Domingues-Murphy, High School Librarian

Students love to use it as a warm up and then have a philosophical chair style debate. They also used these topics as a starting point 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 embarking on a unit. A great way to incorporate current events into my classes and to get students to see the connections to literature from “a long time ago” and issues that are relevant today. – Amy Chappuis, ELL high school teacher

Health educator Carla Cefalo explains in this article how she uses our prompts – on topics such as relationship building, mental health, self-care, bullying and social media – to discuss a range socio-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 to engage English language learners to practice writing and critical thinking for the college’s English proficiency test.

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


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