I’m excited to share with you about a new book this week that I am reading, Good Questions for Math Teaching: Why Ask Them and What to Ask in Grades 5-8 by Lainie Schuster and Nancy Canavan Anderson (link below on picture of book).
Good questions make the difference in any classroom no matter the subject matter. When we as teachers take time to ask well thought out questions it will set the stage for deeper understanding for our students. We all know how important it is for students to not only understand what they think but also how to get from point A to be point B.
What Are Good Questions?
Good questions help students not only make sense of their learning but also help to raise students confidence about breaking apart their own misunderstandings. Open-ended questions allow students to provide their own answer rather than just a canned response. Good questions also promote students to delve deeper.
How Are Good Questions Created?
When we take time to plan our lessons we should also think ahead to what our end goal is for our students. With this in mind we can develop questions to implement not only in our lessons but also our assessments. Beginning with the “end in mind” requires that we understand our content and objectives clearly.
What Are the Teacher’s Responsibilities in Presenting Good Questions?
When you are presenting questions in your classroom the NUMBER ONE thing is to understand the question yourself! Knowing misconceptions that will arise with students ahead of time as well as ways to prevent those misconceptions is also key. Spending extra time during the presentation to clearly explain will save you time on the backside from having to unteach, reteach and reassess.
What Classroom Conditions Are Necessary to Support Good Answers?
A supportive and open classroom is necessary at all grade levels. Students should feel open to express their thinking without risk of feeling “stupid”. Building a safe environment in your classroom starts from the first time students walk into your class. They must know that communication is part of their learning and sharing with others helps to develop their learning.
Disagreements are okay and should be allowed as long as they stay in control. When students have different thoughts that they can then talk about this deepens the understanding for all involved.
I am absolutely loving this book and I think it will help me beyond the classroom as well when I am training with teachers. I truly think that we all need to work on communicating better and the basic steps in this chapter on how to do so are great.
Don’t have a copy of the book and want to grab one to add to your professional library? Feel free to click on the image below to grab it today from Amazon!
We are here all summer long bringing you some great insight from these two books! See you again in two weeks!