Create a Culture of Collaboration, Inquiry & Discussion in Your Classroom

Student engagement is the driving force of learning in any classroom setting. Dig into protocols and strategies that keep students involved and curious about their learning. 


Sequence questions to maximize cognitive thinking

Avoid IDK “I don’t know” as a final answer to questions

Activate and Facilitate collaborative learning and quality student discussion 

Determine When & How to use content vs. engagement questions 

Build a toolkit of engagement questions








EngagED Questioning – Foundation Day


All teachers ask questions every day. Literally hundreds of them. How, when, and what questions are posed in your classroom is critical. This is not another sit and get about DOK and levels of questions. Your day will be packed with relevant, useful, and proven strategies that anyone can implement immediately. Everything you learn can be used in your classroom tomorrow. You have questions about questioning? Connie Hamilton will help you find your answers.


Questions are the driving force of learning in classrooms. Dig into framing, delivering and maximizing questions in the classroom to keep students engaged in learning.

Learning Intentions:

  • Avoid “IDK” as a final answer to questions

  • Sequence questions to maximize cognitive thinking

  • Determine when and how to use content vs. engagement questions

  • Activate and facilitate collaborative learning


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Prerequisite is EngagED Questioning and Discussion Foundation Day. Are your students using textual evidence to support their responses?  Are they accessing their schema to make inferences? Do they exclaim “I can’t find the answer in the book”?  All of these scenarios can be supported by designating a type of relationship between the question and the answer, also known as QAR. In the session you will learn about four types of questions that require different kinds of thinking for students and why teaching students the QAR could support their learning and your ability to scaffold their thinking.

Learning Intentions:

  • Define "right there", "think and search", "author and me", and "on my own" responses to questions.

  • Write questions that align with a QAR.

Question Formulation Technique


Prerequisite is EngagED Questioning and Discussion Foundation Day. Knowing how to ask effective questions is a skill students should and can learn. However, few schools deliberately teach students how to craft questions. The Formulation Technique, established by The Right Question Institute provides a clear approach to teaching students in all grades how to formulate, prioritize, and select quality questions.

This workshop also supports instructional coaches and school and district leaders who want to encourage more inquiry in the classroom.

Learning Intentions:

  • Actively experience the QFT

  • Learn strategies for effective QFT design, facilitation, and trouble-shooting

  • Work with planning tools and classroom resources to begin designing and revising their own lesson with the QFT 

Listening to Support Student Discussion

Prerequisite is EngagED Questioning and Discussion Foundation Day. Classroom discussion is a powerful structure to support deep learning. Explicitly teaching students how to be effective in their communication skills is one way to improve the quality of the dialogue occurring in your classrooms. This session will highlight how focusing on listening skills will improve the interactions between students. Participants will experience the power of structured student talk protocols and how to facilitate student collaboration without taking over their learning. Instructional strategies like jigsaw and reciprocal teaching will be specifically addressed, including common mistakes to avoid when implementing them.

Learning Intentions:

  • Examine a sequence of a speaking and listening standard

  • Plan collaborative learning protocols that can be used throughout the year.

  • Identify conditions for successful collaborative learning


Can't wait to get started with EngagED? Check out this free downloadable resource, follow Connie Hamilton on Twitter, and join Connie Hamilton's Hacking Questions Facebook Group!

Looking for Connie's book? Order Hacking Questions on Amazon for yourself or a friend, or complete this request to place a bulk order.


Jump start your professional learning, order Hacking Questions by Connie Hamilton

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Connie Hamilton is known by teachers and leaders as the Questioning Guru. She offers minor tweaks and major perspective shifts. You will be a better questioner tomorrow.

Amazon Review by Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt, Professional Learning Coordinator

Bring EngagED to your school or system!
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The Core Collaborative

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