Rewriting Question Stems


Session Description

Assessment data isn't useful if it doesn't help you understand what students know or don't know. Learn how to write effective question stems, properly balance a test with different levels of knowledge, and rewrite questions to be more rigorous.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of the sessions participants will know / be able to: 
    1. Understand the difference between difficulty and complexity
    2. Write effective question stems
    3. Rewrite questions to be more rigorous

          Activity 1: Stem Sort

          Using the digital stem sort, work with your group to determine if the questions stems are at DOK 1, 2, 3, or 4. Be prepared to justify your answer and explain your thought process in categorizing.

          Activity 2: Rewriting Questions

          Using the samples provided, rewrite the low level rigor to a medium or high rigor question. Share your suggestions on the Padlet.

          Optional Extensions:

          Paint Chip Question Stems

          Highlight some of your favorite stems from the sort. Using a paint chip, create your own DOK flip-chart reference. Use this when you are teaching to ensure you are differentiating your questioning and used varied levels of DOK.

          Video Analysis

          In your assigned groups, watch the video clip. Check off the types of question stems you hear on this gameboard. Where would you place these teachers on the DOK/Bloom’s scale? How could they increase the rigor?

          Balancing Assessments

          1. Visit DPI’s Assessment site and find the most recent version of a released end-of-grade/-course assessment for your content area or the content area you work with. Complete a Stem Analysis for the released test.
          2. Visit Mastery Connect’s public gallery. Find an assessment that correlates to your content/grade (10 questions or less).
            • How many questions are at each level of DOK?
            • How would you balance this assessment to be appropriately rigorous?
            • Choose 1-2 questions to rewrite at a higher DOK.
            • Share out using AirPlay.

          Additional Resources