One of my favorite parts of the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice is the attention paid towards getting students to actually think about the mathematics they are being asked to work with.
At the time, I was participating in some pretty amazing PD through my district and a local university. It was all about math and how we could improve students' learning and understanding in a variety of ways. One of the things we discussed was questioning.
Once we started having conversations about questioning, I knew that the questions I asked students (and they asked each other) could potentially be the key to the kingdom of having a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
1. Have a Plan: This was probably the hardest one for me when I first started shifting my thinking about using questions more effectively in mathematics. How was I supposed to know what questions to ask? To begin with, I found a few "go-to" questions - I especially liked "How did you figure that out?" and "Why do you think that idea is working?" Each time I planned a lesson, I kept a few of these types of questions in my back pocket to help kids extend their thinking. I even put them up on posters or cards at the back of the room to remind me! When you know what questions you might ask ahead of time, it helps you to bust those bad boys out when you are circulating around the room or working with a small group of kids.
Here's a hilarious video about what NOT to do:
I hope that if this is a new idea to you, it will get you started! If you are already using questioning as a great instructional strategy, I hope it maybe gave you a new idea.
If you are looking for some ideas for questions to ask, you can check out these Questions to Encourage Mathematical Thinking Posters that are in my store.
I would love to hear your favorite question you use during math, so make sure and tell me in the comments!