Two years ago, our agency decided to by the Question of the Day for every preschool classroom. We mandated it to be used every day. Let me just say now, I am never for mandating something to be used in a classroom because each child, teacher, and classroom is different. What works for one does not necessarily work for the other. For that matter, what works one year does not necessarily work the next (even with the same classroom and teacher...the children are different). That being said, the Question of the Day is a useful tool in the classroom. The way the classrooms use it is at circle time they ask the chidlren the question of the day, the child then takes their nametag and puts it under the answer they choose, and then you count it...like a graph. It is a very useful tool! It helps with language, math, and social skills. However, if I were in the classroom this is how I would use it:
When the children arrive, the question would already be posted. At this time, they would (with their parent) find thier name tag. They would then read the question and make a choice for an answer. This would bring in the parent involvement and give the child a responsibility that needs to be completed (kind of like homework). Then at circle time we would discuss the results. I would allow any child to comment on why they chose their answer if they wanted to, giving them an opportunity to create conversation and also to wait their turn to talk. Used right, this tool could be a huge resource of stimulation in the classroom. Name recognition, lanugage, communication, social skills, counting, patterning, comparisons, etc...
Now, the product itself is very well made. Yes, you could probably make it yourself with a poster board and some velcro, but this was definatly worth the money. All the pieces are laminated; this means you can write the children's names on the tags and reuse them next year. Here's a handy tip: use permanent marker so the names don't wear off. At the end of the year, or when the child leaves, rub a dry erase marker over the letters and wipe off. Anytime you get permanent marker on a wipable surface, dry erase will erase it! It also comes with a box full of potential questions, front and back, and they are catagorized and sorted. It's easy to decide what kind of question you are looking for and then find it. Want a question on colors? How about animals? Transportation? Yes or no questions? It's got them all. What? You can't find the question you want? Well it also comes with several blank pieces so that you can make up your own question. The answer cards are also catagorized and have lots of options. Again, there are some blanks for you to make your own answers. I like to mix it up and make it fun for the children. For example: How did you come to scholl today? Car, walk, bus, airplane. The children find this funny, and even funnier when one of the characters actually chooses airplane.
Let them pick their answers. This is one of those "there are no wrong answers" activities. So what if they want to say they came by plane? Does it really matter? They have their reasons. Maybe they pretended their car was a plane this morning...maybe that was the only way mom could get them in the carseat!
I would say that this is an activity that should be in every classroom (whether you buy this product or not). I would also say that this product is well worth the money and is an asset to the classroom experience.