Today is the first day of EIGHT great posts about questioning in the math classroom! I have partnered up with three of my math blogging buddies to bring you…
Every other week we will be bringing you posts from the two “sister” books…one geared more for elementary, and one geared more for middle. Jennifer from “Teaching to Inspire in 5th” and I will be handling the elementary posts and today is the first one!
The first part of this book really focuses on what a “good” question is and gives three main features of good questions.
1. More than simply remembering or reproducing a skill
2. Students can learn from solving it–and teachers can learn about students from it
3. There may be multiple answers
The next section focuses on two methods for creating these “good” questions…either picking a topic, writing a “closed” question that you then make up a question that already includes the answer….
Select a topic, pick a standard question, and then improve it.
To be honest, I had a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around the ideas until I checked out the many examples given in the next section! This section is filled with examples of great questions in a number of different mathematical areas related to “number” such as money, fractions, decimals, place value, counting, and operations. I know. That’s a ton. The real “meat” of this book comes in the examples…so here are my discussion questions for you all to chime in on!
1. If you currently use a series, do you feel that the questions provided fit along the lines of the “good” questions (more than simply remembering, students and teachers can both learn , and may have multiple answers) or are they more “standard” questions? If they are NOT good questions, where can we turn to find better questions?
2. This section gives some ideas for how to incorporate more problem solving–from partnering to small groups, to whole class discussions to what role the teacher can have. What are some of the most successful ways you have found to “organize” your math class time to get the best bang for your buck with problem solving?
3. Looking through the problems presented in chapter 4, which ones caught your eye? Which problems could serve as a model for you to use in your own classroom? For example, I was really taken by the idea of having students write their own questions based on a set of data. I have done this in the past and the students love it–I need to do it more! Which problems really intrigued you?
So…let’s hear it! If you HAVE read the book…let me know. If you haven’t, I’d love for you to still chime in and let us know your thoughts about any of the above questions! Simply add your ideas to the comments–and feel free to “piggy back” off each other! To be a book study, we need to get that conversation going!
Want to get your own copy of the book? Click here.
One more thing…to thank you for stopping by to check out the first post, I’ve whipped up a little freebie for you! I thought you might like one “ready to go” problem in the format I was taken by…a way for students to write their OWN questions. What a great way to see how deeply (or not!) a student is understanding! Grab it off my google drive and let me know what you think! Don’t forget to leave your book comments below as well.
Also…don’t forget to check out NEXT week’s grade 5-8 post hosted by the wonderful 4mulafun!
Finally…are you on Twitter? I have gotten in on the ground floor of a great new math chat…it is currently every other Monday night at 7 PM central–and the next chat is June 30. Follow #talkmath to hook up!