TTESS Thursday: "I Don't Know" is No Longer an Acceptable Answer

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"I Don't Know" is No Longer an Acceptable Answer

In Mrs. Gold's interview, she suggested teachers not letting students say, "I don't know" as their response to a question. Here's the post about it, and here's the video below.

We are okay with our students honestly not knowing the answer, but we need to prepare them for their adult life. It wouldn't be as appropriate to say I don't know to your future boss. Let's no longer accept no.

Here is a scenario of helping our students find the answer on their own:
Teacher: What is the setting of this story?
Student: I don't know.
Teacher: Remember setting is where and when the story takes place.
Student: Oh yeah, that is right.
Teacher: Can you remember where and when this story took place? 
Student: I am still having trouble.
Teacher: Okay, are there any hints in the story that would give us a clue to the setting?
Student: Well, they do talk about the North and South fighting.
Teacher: Good, so what war are they talking about?
Student: The Civil War

In this scenario, the teacher did not let the student get off the hook of just saying, "I don't know" to his or her question. Also, the teacher kept the conversation going by asking questions and giving hints. 

Another idea would be to have students turn to a friend and ask them for help answering the question. Or, have a student research the answer. This is a good way to teach our students how to solve problems by research. 

Let's teach our students to say, "I am not sure, but I will find that answer for you" as their phrase when they do not know an answer. Knowing this phrase will help our students when talking to their future bosses. 


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