I am willing to bet that you THINK you ask higher level questions than you really do. Want to prove me wrong? Videotape yourself teaching and then study your questioning. Seriously. Try it! Don’t even TELL anyone…it’s just for you.
This chapter was not new information for me, but I LOVED one page in particular…on page 120, the author stresses how important it is that we help our students understand how mathematicians use questioning. In other words–we need to let our students in on the secret! They need to understand why we are asking probing questions…why we don’t always need to find answers…that questions can lead to more questions and more.
Math has traditionally been a domain where we strive to get an answer–and to get it as quickly as possible. This is a complete shift for many teachers and students! We need to create a culture where questioning and risk taking are not only acceptable–they are expected.
The chapter also review the different types of questions such as thick and thin questions, “right there” questions and so on–all familiar from literacy instruction through the years. I love that this chapter is filled with teaching suggestions and activities to get students involved in questioning…from thinking stems to question journals to “wonder walls”. The chapter stresses how critical it is that we, as teachers, capitalize on the natural curiosity our students have. Need some help in this area? Maybe this freebie of mine can help…
The more we can build students “schema”, the better equipped they will be to tackle math challenges. I seriously could not, in one blog post, explain all that is found in this chapter, so I highly recommend you check it out–from talking more about modeling to specific lesson ideas such as “visualize, draw, and share” to math “stretches” to help students refine their ability to visualize…this is a chapter you will want to read several times to really let it sink in.
The concept of “looking for clues” in reading, math–or any content area–is one that we need to explicitly help students understand. They need to have enough tools in their toolbox to do this…and an excitement about looking to find solutions–even when the solutions are hard to come by! This is SO tied to the earlier chapters where discourse, modeling, wait time, and creating a climate of challenge are key to its success.