Do you use the WSQ? If so, share your ideas here!
Do you need ideas on WSQing? Check out what's been shared by others here!

See my FlipCon14 Presentation slides on "WSQing your Way to #FlipClass Success"

A "WSQ" [wisk] is what we call 
"homework" in my Flipped Class.  

WSQ - Watch, Summarize, Question. This tool is used in many ways in my class.  
See my detailed description of the WSQ for students here 

Download 10 editable WSQ chart templates from my TpT store here

There are many ways you can use the WSQ in your class, and I have experimented with several (there definitely isn't "one right way"!).  See more details on my FAQ page (#5, #6, and #7) about the WSQ in home and in class.  

When I blog about it, I could be referring to it in one of the following ways:
  • Processing - The WSQ allows my students to "get the concept", "make sense of the concept", and then "think deeper about the concept", all before coming to class and working with the material, discussing it, and applying it. 
  • Accountability - The WSQ allows me to hold students accountable for actually watching the video and paying attention, rather than just mindlessly copying down notes.
  • Discussion - The WSQ serves as the basis for in-class discussions and questioning at the beginning of each class period.  We call these "WSQ chats". See lots of ideas for WSQ chats here.
  • Organization - The WSQ "chart" organizes the activities and assignments that students need to complete for each concept, as well as provides them with a timeline to do so. See examples of Math Analysis WSQ charts here and Algebra 1 WSQ charts here.  Download 10 editable WSQ chart templates from my TpT store here

It is a way I have found to help my students TWIRLS in math class in a way I've never seen before.

My previous posts on WSQs (read these first if you don't know what a WSQ is!)
Other posts about the WSQ that might interest you:
My weekly reflection posts generally include an update on the WSQ process in class as well.  Hopefully the reflections are organized in a way that makes it easy for your to find the topics below :)  Check all the links out here.
Week 1 - using the WSQ chart (whole post)
Week 3 - adjustments on questions and summary portion of WSQ (Algebra 1 section)
Week 4 - doing a "My Perfect Summary" activity in class (Math Analysis section)
Week 5 - variations on the WSQ - first time using Guided Summaries (Math Analysis section)
Week 7 - WSQ chart accountability - daily goals with weekly deadines (Math Analysis section)
Week 7 - "5 minute WSQ" (Math Analysis Section) and "2 minute WSQ" (Algebra 1 Section)
Week 8 - Online WSQs linked from Video Playlists (Math Analysis section)
Week 11 - continued thoughts on Online WSQs (Math Analysis section)
Week 11 - group interviews for WSQing in class (Algebra 1 section)
Week 12 - Using HOT questions as discussion starters in class (Math Analysis section)
Week 12 - The WSQ as a management tool in class (Math Analysis section)
Week 14 - Fully Online WSQ (Math Analysis section)
Week 14 - Resubmitting WSQs (Math Analysis section)
Week 15 - update on Resubmitting WSQs (Math Analysis section)


I don't believe a "flipped classroom" should become something where students receive direct instruction at home and then work on worksheets in class.  Class time must be made meaningful and  purposeful, where students have the opportunity to 
(1) make meaning of the material and make connections to other content in an environment with the support of the teacher and other classmates,  
(2) understand the concepts at a deeper level through practice, answering and posing questions, or explaining problems/solutions to others, and  
(3)  receive one-on-one support and explanation from the teacher or other student "experts" when needed.   
Using the WSQ has enabled me to provide this type of environment for my students in my Flipped Class in a way that is somewhat structured and holds students accountable for their work and learning.

Ways to have students "WSQ" at home

Open vs. Guided summaries
  • Students have an "open" summary where they must write a full summary of the content covered in the video.
    • Summaries must include complete sentences
    • Summaries should have at least 3 math vocabulary words used in context and highlighted in paragraph.
  • Students have a "guided" summary where they are given 3-5 questions that they must answer in a summary format.  Answers must be completely answered or students will be asked to resubmit.  
    • With "guided" summaries, it is very important that students know answers should be written in complete sentences and should include words such as "because", "such as", etc to provide REASONS and EXAMPLES as to why they answered the way they did.
    • For struggling learners or EL's, provide sentence frames or sentence starters for them to assist in writing answers in complete sentences.
Handwritten vs. Online summaries
  • Students handwrite all answers and bring to class ready to discuss with their summaries in front of them.  
    • Pros: students have summaries in front of them and with them at all times.  
    • Cons: accountability for students to do a good/correct job unless hard copies are turned in daily for teacher to read. 
  • Students submit WSQ online via a Google Form.  Students expected to know answers and content well enough to discuss in class without having WSQ in front of them in class.  Students have option of printing answers submitted in Google Form if they want to have it with them.  
    • Pros: Student accountability (teacher always reads responses; much easier to do so when it's paperless), Student responsibility to know the content by memory and not relying on summary.  
    • Cons: Online access required to complete, Students tend to type "online-esque" and not always write in complete sentences
HOT Questions
  • Give student questions starters to help aid in asking good questions.  It is a skill that must be taught and developed.
  • Encourage students to try to answer their question themselves to the best of their ability before coming to class
  • If submitted via a Google Form, students open the spreadsheet and can see other student's questions to think about as well as (if Mrs. Kirch is available), Mrs. Kirch's answer to their question typed into the form.
  • Idea: Students must check the spreadsheet and come to class with their question written down as well as ONE CLASSMATE'S question from the spreadsheet that they also have or just think is a really great question.

Ways to "WSQ" in class:

*It is important to me that the following things happen in my Flipped Classroom every day:
  1. Students come prepared with the video watched and WSQ completed.  If not, they must use a classroom computer to do it at the beginning of class.
  2. Students are given opportunities to discuss their summaries and the key points of the lesson, practicing expressing math content in their own words and using math vocabulary in context.
  3. Students are given opportunities to ask questions about the lesson and get them answered in detail during class.
  4. Students are given opportunities to think critically about the lesson and pose questions to their classmates that will require deep thinking and making connections to other material.
  5. Students are given opportunities to practice working out problems with the support of their classmates and myself to guide them when questions or problems arise.
  6. Students are given opportunities to prove their mastery of concepts via concept quizzes that are taken when they feel they are ready.

The following is a list of ways to make sure #2,3,4 on the list above happen.  It is nice (and necessary) to provide variety for the students so the task of WSQing does not become monotonous.

See a variety of WSQ chat ideas from multiple teachers here.

 1. Whole Class (this is important at the beginning of the year as you are training your students on your expectations)
  •  Pick a WSQ to put on the screen.  Read it as a class, discuss it as a class.  Ask questions about it and have students turn to their groups to answer, and then share out as a class.  "Score" it as a class.  Have students look at their own WSQs and give it a score as well.  Answer the question on the WSQ as a whole class (again, have small groups discuss it and then share out)
  • Have all students get out their WSQs and SSS packets.  Together as a class, construct a summary of key points from the lesson, with each student giving one sentence or key point at a time.  Have a student up front writing the sentences either on the document camera or on the laptop for everyone to follow along.  At the end,  students add anything to their WSQ that is important and left out.  Students can ask their question to the whole class if they want to volunteer; otherwise students turn and ask their questions to their groups.
  • Have chart paper on the walls around the room with titles/subjects on the top.  Students must work together as a class (probably in organized small groups at first) to organize the information from the lesson on the chart paper, usually through Thinking Maps.  Chart paper stays on the walls throughout the unit and can be added to as lessons continue to connect. 
  • "Oral Quizzes" - works best when given a guided summary with questions.  Teacher asks question to whole class, and everyone in the class turns to partners/groups and talks (loudly is fun :)) about the answer for an allotted amount of time. [EVERYONE is talking, not "one partner at a time" - it is very loud]  Teacher says "time" or "stop" and says the next question and the process is repeated.  Teacher walks around the classroom as students are talking to be able to listen in to different groups.  This is also more "fun" when students are required to "show" what is going on with hand motions, etc.
2. Small Group (Open Summaries-this means you had the students write their own summary of what they watched with no guidance or structure)
  •  Choose one, two, three, or all four students to read their summaries out loud with group members looking on.   Group members stop the reader, question the reader, and add to what the reader is saying as they read through their summary.  Then, reader goes over their question and the group discusses it before an answer is written down.
  • Choose one student from each group to use as the base for a "perfect" summary.  The group members all look on to the one summary and break it down and tear it apart.  They cross things off, add sentences, clarify sentences, etc to make it a truly "perfect" summary of the lesson.  They are encouraged to look for places to include specific math vocabulary words in context.  Once the summary is perfect, group members look at all four questions and do the same thing - make the questions better by phrasing them more clearly, having math vocabulary in the question, and then making sure the answers are complete, detailed, and include proper explanations and vocabulary. After groups are given time to discuss, I come around and have an interview/interrogation with each group about the lesson, prompted and guided by the math vocabulary words they have written in their summaries.  See my post on the first time I did "Perfect Summary" in Math Analysis here.
  • Instead of working in their groups of 4, have students switch summaries with their partners. Partners will individually read the summary and decide "if I didn't watch the video lesson last night, would this summary help me in starting the practice problems today?"   If the answer is no, the partner writes down anything that needs to be added or clarified to make the answer be "yes" and then explains to their partner what was missing.
  • Students work in their small groups and go straight to their questions.  They answer the questions together with the help of their summaries, and then choose which question is "Their Best Question" to pose to the class.  This may be the question they feel is the "HOTtest", the toughest to answer, or one that they couldn't even answer themselves.  Questions are put on the board (put on sticky notes on the whiteboard, written down to project from the DocCam or Laptop, etc).  At some point in the period we discuss the questions - either as a whole class, or I assign each group to a different question to answer from the one they put on the board.
3. Small Group (Guided Summaries-this means you gave the students "Guiding Questions" to answer in their summaries. I usually give 2-4 summary questions)
  • Set a timer for five (+ or -, depending on level) minutes ( works great!).  Students have five minutes to discuss the 2-4 questions I posed last night in the video and talk through any issues.  Students have to talk about the math and only the math until the time goes off.
  • WSQ interviews - after giving time for students to review and talk through their WSQs, each group has a 3-5 minute "grilling" interview by the teacher where they are not only asked the questions on the WSQ, but follow-up and extension questions.  This time can also be used for a small-group teaching opportunity if necessary.
4. Individual (this is good for individual reflection and for review before a test)
  • Students read thru their summary individually and critique it.  They look for ways to revise it and make  it better.  This would best be done near the end of a period after they have had a chance to discuss the concept and probably would have more to add to their original summary.
  • Students read through their WSQ with me.  I provide the guidance, questioning, probing, and follow-up explanations that are needed to improve their summary and answer their question.
 *In any of these "methods", the questions can also be answered in a variety of ways.  (please share any ideas you have with this!)
  • Write down the answers to their own questions once they find the answers
  • Trade notebooks and "quiz" each other by making their groupmates write the answer to the question they posed.
  • Write down their questions on a whiteboard so they are all visible throughout the class period and can be answered by any student or teacher who sees it
  • As a group (4-6 students), pick the two "best" questions to put on a single mini-whiteboard and those questions will serve as the base for their group interview
  • All students put their question on a sticky note and put it on the big class whiteboard.  Students must go up and pick a random question to bring back to their group to discuss.  (Maybe different colored sticky notes for different groups, so they have to bring back a sticky note of a different color?)

Guidelines for questions:
1. Answers must  be written down.
2. Questions cannot have just a yes or no answer.  If so, the student must come up with a follow up question or an explanation beyond the yes/no.
3. Students are encouraged to make connections when answering their question and be detailed and descriptive.
4. Students should be able to discuss all questions posed in the group in detail, using correct math vocabulary and explaining the material clearly and concisely.
5. Use HOT question starters to help you

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