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Free Resources: What Are Good Questions?

A teacher’s best tools to stimulate math discourse are Good Questions. A Good Question is an open question, where there may not be a right answer. Instead of returning a memorized fact, students must think critically and reason out their understanding of a concept. Good Questions are common in classes like Social Studies, where students are often encouraged to form opinions and defend their ideas. But how do a Good Questions fit into math class?

Just as it is with social studies, these good, open questions are invaluable to a skilled math teacher. Careful, intentional and mindful questioning helps students not only retain new knowledge, but understand it too. So what do good questions in math look like?

• They help students make sense of the mathematics.
• They are open-ended, whether in answer or approach.
• There may be multiple answers or multiple approaches
• They empower students to unravel their misconceptions.
• They not only require the application of facts and procedures, but encourage students to make connections and generalizations.
• They are accessible to all students in their language and offer an entry point for all students.
• Their answers lead students to wonder more about a topic and to perhaps construct new questions themselves as they investigate this newly found interest.

View these helpful resources to explore how to use Good Questions in your classroom and implement them into your lesson plans:

What Could Be the Sum? A Lesson with Third Graders

To learn more about Good Questions and find even more resources, visit the Math Solutions – Math Talk page.

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What's the Math Hub?

The Math Hub is a place for  sharing  expertise on math education and the use of adaptive technology to increase student achievement. We invite you to enhance our conversation by submitting your own comments.

Bloggers are compensated by Scholastic. The opinions expressed by the authors on this blog should not be taken to reflect the opinions of Scholastic or Tom Snyder Productions.

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