Wednesday, July 8, 2015

5 Strategies to Help Your Students Generate Questions

Yesterday, I shared my weekly post in the Building Mathematical Comprehension book study.  As I said in that post, this chapter is so long and full of great ideas.  So full, that I had to break it up into two posts.  Today's post is all about the strategies that Sammons suggests to help your students generate good questions!

Model Think-Alouds
Modeling Think Alouds is something that I am seriously not so good at doing.  I actually used to do this more in my role as a special education teacher.  In one of my inclusion classrooms, I would often play the role of the confused student.  (I bet there were so many above average students who thought I was a total moron! Haha!)  During this time, I would "think-aloud" with the classroom teacher to pose questions or thoughts that I felt many students were likely thinking but not actually voicing.  I'm afraid that in the general education room, I somehow lost this.  Rather than "thinking-aloud" I am just sharing what to do and when to do it.

Thinking Stems
I began using sentence stems last year to assist my students with quality math journal responses.  I also love this idea with generating questions.  For some students, this will come so naturally.  For others, this will be the perfect way to spark questions and support them as they begin to take their questioning to the next level.

Grab this freebie by clicking on the image above!  :)

Wonder Walls
The concept of a Wonder Wall is so simple, yet very new to me.  A Wonder Wall encourages students "to share their questions before, during, and after engaging in specific mathematical tasks by recording them on a chart."  (Murphy, 135)  Students can either record their own questions or you can do it for them, depending on the grade level that you teach.  After students generate a question, it is important that students go back to the Wonder Wall and interact with it in order to answer their own questions.

Question Journal
Question Journals may seriously be my favorite strategy of these five!  A Question Journal is very similar to a Wonder Wall but is a but more personal.

With this strategy, students "record questions that occur to them during their mathematical work.  Each sheet in the journal has four columns: one for questions; one for students to indicate if the question was generated before, during, or after their math task; one for predicted answer; and one for a final answer (if one is found)."  (Sammons, 136)

Question Webs
I can also see myself really implementing Question Webs into my classroom next year when beginning a new skill or topic.  With a Question Web, "the question is written within a circle in the middle of a page.  Extending out from the circle are possible answers to the question.  When the class or individual students arrive at a conclusive answer, it is recorded at the bottom of the page."


I also like the idea of a Question Web being used during a Math Warm Up at the beginning of a unit!  By clicking on the image above, you can grab this freebie with Question Webs that are ready for a new unit or adding to your morning Math Warm Up routine!!! :)

3 comments:

  1. Hi there Amanda
    I am really enjoying your blog posts and I love that book by Laney Salmon. I have incorporated heaps of her ideas into my approaches. I made a connection when reading this particular blog post and I hope you don't mind me sharing, but we seem to have similar interests...Last year I blogged about an approach I developed that is so simple, but powerful - Collaborative Reading Workshop - and it uses burning questions and the wondering wall...you can read about it here: http://ripperresources.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/collaborative-reading-workshop-great.html

    I would love you to do a guest post on my blog if you are up for it, maybe summarising some of your favourite things from Laney Salmon's book???

    Kylie
    http://ripperresources.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Hey Kylie!

      Can you email me at theprimarygal@gmail.com? I'd love to work out a date/time to guest post!!!

      Thank you so much!!!
      Amanda :)

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