Asking good questions

Asking good questions is an important way to see what your students are thinking and to get them to move forward in their ability to justify their answers.

There is a great article that was published in the NCTM journal, Teaching Mathematics in the Middle School.  It's called:

The article talks about two ways of asking questions.  Funneling (not so great) and Focusing (better!).  Here is my interpretation of the main theme of their article:

My Example of Funneling:

Teacher- What is 12 x 6
Student- I don’t know
Teacher- Well, what is 6 times 2?
Student- 12
Teacher- Put down the 2 and carry the one
Teacher- What is 6 times 1?
Student- 6
Teacher- Add 1
Student- 7
Teacher- So, what is 12 x 6?

My Example of Focusing:
Teacher- How can we multiply 12 x 6?
Student- I don’t know.
Teacher- Well, what do you know about multiplication?
Student- It’s repeated addition.
Teacher- Okay, so what could you do?
Student- Well, I know 5-twelves is 60.
Teacher- So, tell me more about that...
Student- So I guess I just need one more 12 added to 60,  That would be 72.
Teacher- Great, are there any other methods we could use to get the answer?


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