Yesterday I presented to some math teachers about visible student thinking (check out the slides here). One of the ideas I talked about posing a picture, problem, or visual and asking kids what they notice and what they wonder. I just recently learned about this and started using it with my students last school year. It's one of those things that is so simple but so powerful.

If you haven't heard of this idea before, please note that I completely borrowed this idea. Annie Fetter did an Ignite about it a few years ago.

When you just ask kids what they notice and what they wonder, you are really helping them to understand that they already have mathematical ideas going on in their mind. The other great thing is that every student can participate right away. No matter their skill level, students notice and wonder things. There are no "fast finishers" yelling "DONE!" and students that struggle can contribute as well without fear of being "wrong."

I loved using this structure with my students last year. I generally used it as a warm-up/bellringer with a variety of prompts. The one above is a graph that is very visual with pictures of food on it. Here are some other ideas for prompts:

What do you notice when you look at these images? What do you wonder? I'm guessing that these images make you notice/wonder a lot and the same will be true for your students!


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