Questioning – Elementary Math

Dan’s post on math questioning reminded me of the video below and how impressed I was by this teacher’s questioning skills. She ran the whole class like this and made it work well. It really was so much fun to watch.

This is an elementary math classroom but I promise it’s worth watching for any teacher.

I filmed this a while back. Sadly, it’s too easy to do these projects and put them in the heavily fortified garden a lot of our school video lives in and forget about them.

Here is a Word document that was related to this series and adds some context.

Here’s the question the students are trying to solve. Although I think she had the questions more clearly delineated. I would suggest heavy reformatting before using it with students.

more good teacher questions

Comments on this post

  1. Mike Caulfield said on April 8, 2010 at 9:02 am

    This is great stuff! I wish we had more of this for HE as well, so much of effectiveness comes down to this sort of thing.

    I’m going to post this on our CELT site. This would be such a great ed resource for people in Ed programs to use.

  2. Tom said on April 8, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I’ve got a whole series of this class. I’m going to get around to posting all of them. It’s interesting to watch just how good she is at setting this up and keeping the groups running.

  3. Terry said on April 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I am so impressed with how REAL she is, with how sincere she is in her questioning, and how patient she is as they struggle to respond. I always wonder what steps a teacher has to take to have such good rapport with her students. Is it all attitude and personality, or is there purposeful strategy?

  4. Dan Meyer said on April 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Solid. If “feign the curiosity of a novice” isn’t an element of Lemov’s Taxonomy, he needs to get started on the second edition pronto.

    I think it’s a very small subset of educators who attempt this kind of assessment at all (ie. “waitaminit … walk me through this … “) and an even smaller subset of those educators who can pull it off without it seeming campy or in on their own joke. What Terry said, basically.

  5. Sue VanHattum said on April 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I have a colleague who’s good pretending she doesn’t get it. She is very fun to watch.

    I like this teacher. Thanks for the glimpse into her classroom.

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