What role does questioning have in your classroom?

I admit it.  I'm late. Today was the first day that I had a specific non-math objective.  The math related learning targets centered around understanding various parts of a graph (slope, y-intercept, attributes, etc), but I really wanted students to focus on asking good questions.  Overall, the lesson went really well and the questions asked led me to believe students understand more than they demonstrate on quizzes.  But... the issue was having students effectively question each other while being POLITE.  How is questioning going in your class?  Do you have any recommendations for someone who would like to continue this process, but has issues with the way students speak?


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Comment by Patricia Ragsdale on March 8, 2011 at 8:22pm
Actually I did a Meyerized lesson the next day, but had students continue with questioning. Their behavior was a lot better. I think that they just needed to know what to expect. Many students gave me positive comments about the lesson (as in their heads hurt and that they had to think ALOT). I was pleased with the result, but teaching this way is different and it seems that you don't get through much content.
Comment by Geraldine Devine on March 8, 2011 at 10:13am

I love the "non-math" objective.  Interestingly, I think that paying attention to goals like these in our classroom has potential to  foster deeper mathematics understanding too.


As far as restating a question positively, do you think that we may have to occasionally model positive tone by first restating it ourselves?

Comment by Kara Roberts on March 3, 2011 at 5:34pm

I observed a class just the other day where the teacher made the student restate the response/question/etc positively.  The student restated it but it was still not positive, so the student had to restate it again and still was not positive, so the student had to restate it again until the teacher was satisfied that it was positive.  Does this make sense? 

I don't know if this would work, or if the time this would take would be worth the benefit, but why can't you stop the questioning when it is becoming impolite and ask that student to reword the question?  I can see this becoming tedious.  The teacher always have to stop the conversation to have the students reword their questions, over, and over, and over, and over again.  It is a suggestion.  The expectation from you has to be that there must be a positive atmosphere and polite questioning, period.

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