Communication Series: Open-Ended Questions

Disagreements can arise in any situation–at home or work. The key to problem solving is listening. And, the key to listening is effective questioning. All types of questions can be helpful when used purposefully. Open-ended questions are most effective at drawing out people’s ideas and concerns when beginning to problem solve. Watch our actors try to communicate in this short video above.

This video is the first in a series on using effective communication skills.

Funded by the FIEP (Facilitating IEPs) Project at ESC Region XIII.


Contact Linda McDaniel at 512-919-5225 or at

Six Tips to Maximize Student Achievement

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to interview LeAnn Nickelsen, a former Texas teacher turned author and brain-based, instructional strategy specialist. She has helped thousands of teachers turn their classrooms into engaging, interactive, and exciting places to learn.

During our interview LeAnn shared with me six deeper-learning strategies guaranteed to keep your students actively engaged in the content. She was also kind enough to share with us her digital copies of the tools she describes in the interview.  All of the tools and more can be found in the QUICK LINKS section below.

If you try any of the strategies LeAnn teaches in the video, let us know how it went, we’d love to hear about it.  Leave your thoughts in the comment section below the video.


Spinner Activity

Door Pass


Deeper Learning


If you try one of the strategies she describes in the video, please let us know how it went by leaving us a comment.

Multiplication Chart Magic

Students have always used multiplication charts to help them figure out and remember those tricky multiplication facts.  But this static chart may be a bit more flexible than you think.  The video below demonstrates how to use a standard multiplication grid to reduce fractions.  This quick technique is easy to teach and your students will think it’s magic.

Do you have a green light classroom?

Dr. Rich Allen has spent the last 25 years helping teachers create engaging, effective, and exciting classrooms.  I recently interviewed Dr. Allen and he shared with me some practical tips and insights into how to get kids engaged and involved in the learning process.  Watch the interview below to learn how using simple movement, music, talking partners, and doodling can change the way your students interact with you and your content.