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Teaching Tips to Try Newsletter October 18,2009

# Teaching Tips to Try Newsletter October 18,2009

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Expert math coach gives 3 tips to engage students in quality questioning.
Expert math coach gives 3 tips to engage students in quality questioning.

Published by: Linda Cordes on Oct 18, 2009

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Teaching Tips to Try Newsletter
October 18, 2009From Linda The Math CoachGo Beyond the Theory. Apply the Research. Make it work!
MEET THESE EXPERTS!Rescheduled for October 27thDR. ROBYN JACKSON Never Work Harder Than Your Students & DifferentiationTBA“PRINCIPALBARUTI KEFELEMotivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life
This Week’s Theme:
SeeingRED!Rigor + Engagement + Differentiation Part V
Focus on Rigor and Engagement with Quality Questioning
Last week we examined a variety of structures to engage all students in answeringquestions.This week we look at three ways to build student “response ability.”1.Wait Time2.Prompting3.ProbingAre You Caught Up In The Q&A Loop?
Engaging all students in responding to quality questions means expecting all students canand will answer all questions. If you truly believe this, then you have to set the stage for it to happen. It begins by learning how to respond more effectively to students when theyanswer questions. More than likely you and your students are stuck in an ineffectivequestion and answer pattern that goes something like this:

You ask a question: “How do we know that the angle A is 30 degrees?”SilenceYou ask a more leading question: “ What is the measure of angle B?”SilenceYou call on someone you know will answer: “Jane??”Jane responds correctly like she always does: “60”You ask another question: “What is 30 + 60?”Easy question and several students blurt out the answer: “90”You keep leading with one more question. (You really want to them to know this!) : “Sowhy does angle A have to be 30 degrees?”Jane answers again: “Because they have to add up to 90 degrees?” (Notice the questionin her tone of voice. She has become quite skilled at following the teacher’s verbal clues,if not the reasoning behind the questions.) You move on to your next point.Day after day we loop through this leading question and pat answer pattern of “covering”our content. No wonder students disengage. No wonder they come back later with “Idon’t get it.” We don’t allow them the time to think. When they do answer, we don’t probe further to understand their thinking. We just rush on to the next question. Gottaget through that content!SLOW DOWN. 1-2-3 Wait.
Two Important Times To Wait
Start using wait time to allow students to think. Pose a question, and then wait 3 to 5seconds before calling on a student to answer. This gives students a chance to formulatean answer. Teach your students that answering a question isn’t a reaction. It is a processand takes time. It involves these steps:1.Listen to the question and reword it in your mind.2.Think about what it means and understand what is being asked.3.Formulate an answer in your mind.4.Speak the answer out loud.5.Elaborate and refine your answer as you speak.When you and your students begin to see answers as a process, wait time makes moresense. Not only do you wait before calling on a student to answer, you also wait 3 to 5seconds before responding to the student answer. This also applies to other students.They need to wait before responding to each other. This second kind of wait time benefits everyone in the discussion by adding time to think more deeply about what is

being said. It gives you more time to formulate probes to get behind the reasoningstudents are using. It gives students more time to expand upon their answer withsupporting details and reasoning. It’s funny how students don’t like silence either. Work it!
Prompting Guides Struggling Students Through the Answering Process.