I am a reader. It seems as if I read more for school than I do for me. BUT, when I find something that is good, I want everyone to know about it. My team is probably sick of me talking about this book, but if I could only have one teaching resource in my classroom, this would probably be it!
Let me tell you how this book works. It is divided up by strand according to the Common Core Standards. Being from Texas, this doesn't bother me at all even though we do not follow the common core curriculum. Within each strand, it is broken down in to grade levels. This particular book has content for K-8th grade. If you are looking for high school, you might want to check out the "sequel" that can be found here: More Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Secondary Mathematics Instruction
Within each grade level, there are two types of questions: open ended questions and parallel tasks. The open -ended questions are exactly what they sound like--open ended. These are great because they not only correlate to the big idea from the standard, but they also have suggested answers, teaching tips, and examples. My favorite question that I asked from this book last year was:
"You divide two fractions and the numerator of the quotient is four. What could the two fractions be?"
(taken from page 47)
I love this question for so many reasons. The vocabulary used is vocabulary that we want our kids to use. This reinforces the proper academic vocabulary for the content being assessed. Also, it requires students to come up with a strategy that may be different from their classmate's strategy. There is no "right" answer, there is an infinite amount of correct answers. It also allows the kids to all be able to share their solutions instead of one student answering and moving on.
Starting to ask questions (especially warm-ups or exit tickets) in this way totally transformed my teaching. I was now asking purposeful questions. They were planned. I got excited to get the part of the lesson when we could share responses. We did this every day, and the results were amazing!
The parallel tasks are just as good, if not better. Parallel tasks are based on one topic, but there are two questions. One is sometimes more challenging than the other, but it is always disguised by having what students would refer to as "friendly numbers." The point is that you tell them they only have to answer one question. In my opinion, they end up working out both to see which is easier! Kids are so funny. Here is an example of one of my favorites:
"Lisa's dad was driving 16 miles every 15 minutes.
Choice 1: How far would he drive in 20 minutes?
Choice 2: How far would he drive in 2.5 hours?"
(taken from page 65)
Both questions involve some analysis before proceeding. Students inherently want to figure out which one is "easier" or will take less time. Many students of mine started out by answering choice 1, but then qiuckly switched to choice 2.
These are just two examples of types of questions in this wonderful book. I encourage all of you to give it a try!
Want a chance to win it?? I am raffling off a copy of the book and will send it to you directly. Because I am incurring the cost of shipping as well as the book, please only enter if you live in the contiguous 48 states. I apologize in advance!
Click on the image below to be taken to the next blog: Miss Math Dork!