Week 3 of the 2016 Blogging Initiative!

We’re halfway through the blogging initiative! Huzzah!

This week, the blogging prompt is going to be around questioning.

Ages ago (in internet time, that would be 2010), Dan Meyer showed us an infamous example of a bad textbook question.


Around that time, I was figuring out how to switch from saying “soooo… any questions?” to “what questions do you have?”

How we question — on assessments, verbally — and how students learn to question is an important part what we do on a daily basis. Good questioning can provoke class discussion, debate, uncover misconceptions, and invoke curiosity and wonder.

This blogging prompt is designed to help all of us think a bit more about our own questioning. Pick one of the following and blog about it!

  • You’re planning a lesson and you try to come up with super good question to ask to get kids to think about something. What is that question? Why did you phrase it the way you did? Why do you think it will prompt discussion/thinking?
  • You taught a lesson. You asked a question. How did it go? Flop? Success? Muse on why it turned out the way it did. Is there a way to improve the question?
  • You come up with a question. You realize there is a better way to ask it. You rewrite it. Talk about this.
  • A student asked a question that got you twitterpated. What was the question?
  • A student asked a question that really got other students thinking. What was the question?
  • A student asked a question and you didn’t know how to answer it well. Now class is over. Think about how you could have responded better.
  • A student asked a question. What did that question tell you about their thinking?
  • You write an awesome test question. Discuss why you think it’s awesome. If you gave it, how did your kids do. Did it elicit what you hoped? Is there a way to improve it?
  • You wrote a test question that sucked. Kids didn’t interpret it correctly, or there was something about it that didn’t quite work. Rewrite it.
  • You come up with a question. What is the purpose of the question? Who benefits from the question — you or the student(s)?
  • You have a great memory and remember a conversation you had with kids, an interesting back and forth. Type out that conversation!
  • Anything else that you can think of that will help you think about questioning. 

Deadline: Press submit by the end of the day Saturday, January 30, 2016.

If you’d like a little graphic to include in your post, here is a little whatchamacallit we made:


When you’ve written and published your blogpost:

  1. Tweet out the link to your blogpost with a short description, and include the #MTBoS hashtag.
  2. If you’re a mentee, email your mentor the link! And if you’re a mentor, read and comment on your mentee’s post!
  3. In the comments to this blogpost here, throw down the link to your blogpost and a short teaser.
  4. Look at the three comments that are listed above your comment. Click on those three links, read the three blogposts, and talk to the authors by leaving a comment on their blogposts (not here).

And that’s all!

PS. If you enjoyed thinking about questioning, there is a collective #MTBoS blog you can check out! It is called BetterQs, and you can read posts on it, and if you want to become an occasional or regular author, just click on “Want to Join?” at the top of the blog and fill out the form!


60 thoughts on “Week 3 of the 2016 Blogging Initiative!

  1. Well look what a “little” snow will do for you! I am the first one done with this week’s prompt! Usually I am last! Here is a strategy I use to keep track of the students responses to my questions! https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5266458693809757794#allposts/postNum=0

  2. Better Questions – Two Truths and One Lie!! http://wp.me/p3az6g-1aV

  3. “That slight change in questioning is all it took to completely change the dynamic between class periods. All of the sudden, I had at least half the class waving hands in the air to share their opinions. ” This post is about today’s lesson where I made a question more debatable!


  4. Jason D'Arcangelo

    Tired of the “I don’t get it” statements from your students? Read about a lesson I did with a third grade class that opened discussions and created “I wonders”…


  5. “How do we know that?” a student asked, and it completely redirected the lesson.

  6. Questioning My Questions: Why don’t we talk about MATH comprehension? http://forbetterproblems.blogspot.com/

  7. Better Questions: How to bring discussion and problem solving quickly to circle problems. https://fractionfanatic.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/better-questions/

    • Par rapport à la technique ninja : « NE PAS OUBLIER D ENLEVER LE FLrnb!&SHsp;&Aaquo; sinon vous avez l’air bête …un ptit truc, poser son reflex sur un support (genre table de bistro) le régler,, l’orienter, y’a plus qu’a appuyer lors du passage du sujet ! Oui, on vole son âme ! MUAHAHAHA !Effectivement, un reflex c’est gros, mais avec quelque techniques, on peu voler les photo facilement.

  8. 13 Critical Thinking Questions for students to ask each other…

  9. Convince me – A question to ask preservice elementary teachers or students http://thenumberjock.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/convince-me-2/

  10. “Understanding Questions” — my attempt, and plea for help, in asking questions that get at students’ understanding rather than skills.

  11. My thoughts on questioning: class work, home learning and assessment. http://mathszest.com/2016/01/28/questioning/

  12. How long will it take Mr. Feutz to run the marathon? How do you come up with questions for your project work? http://17goldenfish.com/2016/01/29/generating-questions/

  13. A good question to start a fraction unit for 2nd-3rd grade. https://mathellaneous.wordpress.com/

  14. http://lovingthepurplelife.blogspot.com/2016/01/mtbos-blogging-initiative-better.html

    I wrote about how I think of questioning in two different ways – 1. the oral questions we ask to guide class discussions 2. the questions we use as tasks or quizzes

    • Sorry I can’t comment directly on your post, but great thoughts about non-routine problems! I think they are so important to include on a regular basis and truly do teach life skills as you say!

      • Kedves Valcsi!Tegnap, amikor jártam Naa¡salÃyhzbgn, akkor nem voltak a fészekben, ezért nem tudtam róluk fotót készíteni, hogy lássuk melyik két fiatal jár még haza.

      • A request to stop saying sorry (sung to Scarborough Fair, by Simon and Garfunkel)Stop saying sorry now, Scarborough Dude,smoke a joint, or let loose a curse!Don’t swim upstream, ‘gainst your consciousness;Trying to fight it, will just make things worse.

  15. Thinking about how visuals (video & picture) can prompt more & better student questions… https://primemathblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/prompting-questions-with-visuals/

    • Laura, e non siamo ancora all’8 marzo, giorno per elezione in cui si sentono le peggio sttezdaggini/cattiverie/caizaup.Speravo che quelli più giovani di noi ci sarebbero arrivati facilmente a non fare più certi discorsi.Macché. Niente.

    • Ih, de er jo alle sammen superfine! Hvis jeg dog skulle være én nu og her, ville det blive Snowball – primært fordi jeg i dén grad mangler juleagtige ting! De ville gøre sig godt i min stue i disse mørke dage (nu hvor jeg ‘kom til’ at smide min hyggelampe pÃ¥ gulvet – ups)…Hav en dejlig første advent!Hilsen Louise

    • qtos são paulinos tinham nesse jogo….e qtos colorados…tu consegue diferenciar público de torcida ????só não enxerga quem não quer…não é ANTI…..

  16. https://chadtlowermath.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/questioning/
    In previous weeks, the prompts were few in number, but I found one that seemed to be a good fit for me. This week, even though there were more prompts listed, I knew I needed to buck the system and write on a related topic that didn’t apply to any of the prompts.

  17. The question I’m always trying to get better at asking and the question I’m still in search of – https://theinfinitelee.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/better-questions/

  18. I don’t really pose questions. That said, what is “width” to you?

  19. The Art of Questioning in Mathematics http://goo.gl/euo8Dm. A 6 hour professional development including all resources to built teachers capacity to ask purposeful questions.

  20. What would you need for making a local shoe fabric? Open question: http://somenxavier.xyz/posts/MTBoS-week3/

  21. I take apart a recent Desmos lesson, explaining why I set up the questions I did and what information I got out of the responses.

  22. Talking about Assessing & Advancing questions on my blog today and a plea for help of how to coach teachers to use them. https://mrsthienel.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/musings-about-assessing-advancing-questions/

  23. Wanting still to learn to question better… here are some sites to help: https://mburwitzwahoo.wordpress.com/

  24. Back in December I introduced my Math Rocks cohort to the open middle question type. They had a chance to write their own problems, try them out with their students, and reflect on them on their blogs. https://bstockus.wordpress.com/2016/01/30/better-questions-math-rocks-meets-open-middle/

  25. How Desmos came to my rescue, after I vowed to clarify 6th graders understanding of Algebra Tiles. http://jennvadnais.com/2016/01/30/desmos-algebra-tiles/

  26. Better Questions: Are you sure that’s right? When student’s defend their answers, they build their confidence. https://unscramblingmath.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/are-you-sure/

  27. I actually can get students to ask questions in class now (because of better questions from me)!

  28. Better late than never. I had something ugly. Then I deleted it and tried again!

  29. So super late for this one! (Finals kicked my butt last week!)
    Here are some questions that I tried to “improve” for my last Precalc test!

  30. Better late than never!
    Asking deeper levels of questioning.

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