Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

 Defining Communication
 The Communication Standard | Using Effective Questioning | Using Precise Language | Additional Methods | Goals | Your Journal

Teacher's questions can help students think through a problem and communicate coherently so that they truly come to understand their reasoning and problem solving.

Let's look back at the Triangle to Rectangle problem, introduced earlier in this session. We'll use it to focus on this key element of the communication standard, effective questioning.

 The student said: I folded the top down and cut along the fold. Then I turned the cut piece and moved it to make a rectangle.

Here are a series of questions you might ask the student. Select "Show Answer" for

each of the questions below to see possible answers that the student might give, and decide whether these questions have been effective.

 Teacher: Where did you fold? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: Student: I folded the top vertex down to the vertex of the right angle.
 Teacher: Why did you choose that fold? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: Student: I chose that fold because it made a perpendicular to the leg with the fold.
 Sample Answer: Student: The fold line is perpendicular to one leg, so it is parallel to the other leg.
 Teacher: What do you know about the lengths of the sides that you put together? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: Student: The fold line cuts one leg into two equal pieces. Since it is parallel to the base leg, it also cuts the hypotenuse into two equal pieces. Since the two pieces of the hypotenuse are equal, I can put them together.
 Teacher: What do you know about the angles that you put together? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: Student: The two angles along the fold line of the hypotenuse add to 180° because they make a straight line. When I rotate the top triangle, I am putting together the same two angles, so they will still make a straight line. The two non-right angles of the original triangle must add to 90° because it is a right triangle. When I rotate the top triangle, the two non-right angles of the original triangle meet at the bottom corner of my figure. They still add to 90ƒ so they make a right angle.