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Questioning - Carol Efford


Talk moves - get kids talking

Looking for patterns, visualising - what else does it show children: different ways we
can see a number, every method valid

How did you know that?

You went you saw.. You said. What was your next step? Where did you get
the 12 from?

What are the same, what is different? Make sense of what saying, and what saw to
make connections and compare theirs and each others thinking

Encourage students to pay attention - asking questions

BES Prac - Assessment for Learning - lets you know where their thinking is , explain
and justify solutions

Benefits of Effective Questioning

Opportunities for Opportunities for Teachers Opportunities for other

Students students

To explain their thinking To assess student To check their thinking

To clarify their thinking understanding - what is the same or
To self-correct their errors To see what level students different
To deepen their are operating at To learn there are
understanding To identify next often multiple pathways to
To make connections instructional steps an answer
To identify what their next To identify misconceptions To make connections
learning steps are To enable students to get between their thinking
started and other students
Children can learn from
To identify what changes thinking
each other, become the
teachers may need to be made in
Enables students to get the way a concept was
started taught
Keep questioning to To help children make links
get to their true to their prior knowledge
understanding To help children make
Person doing the talking is connections between
doing the learning, let the strategies, representations
children explain, justify key mathematical ideas
their thinking and contexts

Think, Pair, Share - what it looks like in the classroom, modelling,

prompting (cards: i did..)
ENrich - tasks, articles
Always record thinking in some way (draw, write)
Middle to bottom, middle to top
Top end children struggle with explaining - helps to clarify thinking

Mathematical Dictionary

Using Questioning to Stimulate Mathematical Thinking

Levels of Thinking Guide Questions
Nrich article by Jenni Way - Using Questioning to Stimulate Mathematical Thinking
Memory: recalls or memorises What have we been working on that might help with this
information problem?

Translation: changes information into How could you write/draw what you are doing?
another form Is there a way to record what youve found that might
help us see more problem?

Interpretation: discovers Whats the same? Whats different?

relationships Can you group these in some way?
Can you see a pattern?

Application: solves a problem - use of How can this pattern help you find an answer?
appropriate generalisations and skills What do you think comes next? Why?

Analysis: solves a problem - What have you discovered?

conscious knowledge of the thinking How did you find that out?
Why do you think that?
What made you decide to do it that way?

Synthesis: solves a problem that Who has a different solution?

requires original, creative thinking Are everybodys results the same?
Why/why not?
What would happen if?

Evaluation: makes a value judgement Have we found all the possibilities?

How do we know?
Have you thought of another way this could be done?
Do you think we have found the best solution?

Questions Prompts

Where will you start? That was great thinking

Can you tell me what the problem is? I like the way you used what you already
What would happen if..? knew to help you
How do you know it is right? Prove it
Are the same numbers in this question and Thats really good thinking and a valid
where else? way of working that out
How do you know? Draw me a picture of 3x5
Is there a quicker way? That was great thinking
Can you prove it? I like the way you used what you already
What numbers did you use? knew to help you
What did you already know?
Why did you?
Where did you start?
Does that make sense?
Why/why not?
Where did that number come from?
How would you draw that on a numberline?
Is this thinking the same as my thinking?

Talk Moves -

Improving participation with Talk Moves

Five Productive Talk Moves

From Chapin, S.H., OConnor, C., & Anderson,N.C. (2009). Classroom discussions: Using math talk to help students learn. Math
Solutions. Sausalito, CA

Teacher What a teacher Benefit of the move Might sound like...

Move does
1. Revoic Repeat some or Makes one students ideas Youre saying that its
ing all of what the available for the teacher and an odd number?
student is saying, other students to understand.
and then asks the Provides thinking space for Are you noticing
student to students to track what is going something about the
respond and on mathematically. zeros over here?
verify whether or
not it is correct.

2. Asking students Gives students more time to Can you repeat what
Repeati to restate process an idea, as well he just said in your
ng someone elses another way to hear it. own words?
reasoning. Provides evidence that other
students did indeed hear the
idea of another student.
Shows the students that
mathematical ideas they have
are important and taken

3. Asking students Entry point in to eliciting Do you agree or

Reason to apply their student thinking. disagree?
ing own reasoning to Positions student ideas as Why?
someone elses important mathematical ideas.

4. Adding Prompting Encourage students to weigh in Would someone like

on students for about ideas to add something
further Helps establish a norm around more to this?
participation. connecting mathematical ideas Do you have
and building on them. something to add?

5. Waits in silence. Brings important contributions Take your time, well

Waiting from more students into the wait.
Communicates an expectation Total silence.
that everyone has important
ideas to contribute Slowly count to 10 in
your head.

Choral Counting
This instructional activity asks teachers to engage a group of students in counting together, to discuss
patterns in the number system and to connect written and verbal language. The task requires that
teachers choose a counting sequence that would be productive and accessible for their students, yet
engage them in learning. It also requires that teachers manage choral response, participation, and
responding to student comments, questions. The counting task can be a springboard for the upcoming
mathematical work in the lesson.

Step One Consider where to start and what number to count by, keeping in mind where
Choose a the counting sequence should end.

Step Two Talk to students about what the task is and clarify by starting the count
Introduce together.
counting task to Explain the choral aspect of the task (counting together, some think time
students in between numbers, etc)
Consider what the pace of your counting will be and how you will keep
students at that common pace.
Might want to allow individual think time for students to write out their
ideas to the first few problems.

Step Three If the students are not with you after the first few counts, stop and start
Start the again. Keep the energy up.
counting You should be writing the count on the board as the students call out the
sequence numbers.
together It is important to think about how you write the sequence - where will you
end and start a new line, how you line them up and so on.

Step Four Ask - who can tell me what number will come next? How do you know?
After first 4 or 5 Does someone else know what number comes next a different way?
counts - check in Or ask - When counting by 2s, how are you figuring out what comes next?
The goal here is to make sure that students each have a way to figure out
what number comes next and can participate as well as to highlight the
mathematics going on
If students are having trouble with the count you have some options here:
You can change the number you are counting by
You can give the students some time to count on their own on a piece of
paper and then come back together to count as a group.

Step Five Continue to count together

Step Six You want to have a place to stop in your mind - and how that relates to the
Draw count to a mathematical idea you are after

Step Seven Now you want to know what students notice about the counting sequence.
Discussing the This is where a lot of mathematical ideas will emerge for you to ask questions
patterns about and build upon.
Ask - what patterns do they notice? What do you notice about these
Or you may want to focus in on a particular mathematical idea you want to
push on - like Who can circle all the 20s on the board? Who can show us
which numbers are whole numbers? Who can show us all the numbers greater
than 15? Based on the patterns weve noticed, if we keep going, will we land
Choose one thing you want to follow up on- either a pattern shared or a
question about particular content. You dont want this to go on and on.

Step Eight You want to bring this counting task to a close. You can do this by
Closing the task repeating some of the patterns students shared or a response they gave to your
questions - but in doing so your goal is to repeat and highlight an important
mathematical idea for your students.
The written count should still be on the board so you can use this to point
out what you are talking about. You may want to leave the counting sequence
written for a while.