A Parking Lot is a space for students to post questions and ideas that surface during a lesson or unit of study. Students “park” their thinking in a common space for both fellow students and the teacher to access and address. A Parking Lot provides students with the opportunity to post ideas and/or questions anonymously, securing a space where thinking is safe in a culture of learning.
An Anchor Chart is labeled “Parking Lot” and placed in an easily accessible space in the classroom. Students and teacher are invited, throughout the duration of the unit, to add questions and ideas to the space. The Anchor Chart is a “living” document that is added to and referenced throughout the unit.
- What was most confusing about the material we explored today?
- How has your understanding of _____ changed over the course of this unit?
- How did your peers help you clarify your understanding of _____?
- Ask a question and ask students to respond to the question on the Parking Lot. The responses serve as a formative assessment at a given time during a unit of study.
- Assign a keeper or team of keepers who are responsible for posting questions and/or ideas they overhear articulated by peers or direct peers to the lot to add those questions and/or ideas.
- Decide as a class when to visit the Parking Lot and how to engage with the content posted there.
- Plan for how to use Parking Lot in conjunction with other literacy strategies such as List-Group-Label. Students could visit the Parking Lot and group like questions and ideas. From there, students could label the groups.
Students compose open-ended questions in response to a text that has been read independently or collectively.
After watching a video of loud speakers shaking a window, students generate questions and post them. Students continue to post new questions that arise throughout the unit.
VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS
Students generate “I wonder…” statements after reviewing an artifact, which are then investigated by the students.
CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION
After watching a video of a plumber installing a water supply line, students post what they learned, as well as their questions about the process.
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Students use the Parking Lot as an after reading strategy to post new learning.
Students ask clarifying questions about a mathematical concept or skill to promote an inquiry-based classroom.
Students compose open-ended questions about power, authority, and governance.