Thursday, June 7, 2018

Question Generation
By: Tom Regan

The Mathematics Department at BHS has been actively looking for ways to implement KTL comprehension strategies as a continuation of our learning. Of late, we have been discussing methods of expanding our students’ skills with respect to Question Generation. Our last PD day with Shauna & Renee focused on this and we followed up with some good discussion and sharing of ideas over the next couple of department meetings.

As we self reflected, we concluded that we spend a lot of time in the asking the students to remember, understand, and apply levels. How do we get them to analyzing, evaluating, and creating levels more often? We put this to task over the next several weeks.

Lauren Mc. put together an extensive activity that walks the student step by step through the uses of the Quadratic Formula. This is a good way to both introduce the students to the idea of delving deeper as well as remind the teacher of the need to encourage the student to reach further.

A frequent complaint about word problems is how unrealistic they are in context. Katie flipped this around and gave a scenario of information without the final question. She then asked students to share something they “Wonder” about the situation. This led to asking students to generate what they thought the question could/should be. While their responses can be equally unrealistic, the conversation is owned by them. This creates more student buy-in.

Jeanne gave students a list of all the functions they had learned. They then had to find all the characteristics of the functions. This was followed by them teaching the rest of the class. As they did this, they had to come up with their own examples.

Brighid asked students to write questions that they thought would be good test questions on area under a curve/definite integration. To facilitate this, she gave categories for the questions that nudged the student to reach a higher level of questioning.

In response to students providing incorrect answers for a given problem, Brian flipped this back onto the students. While this certainly requires a great deal of anticipation, especially in a class you haven’t taught recently, he had students change the original question so that the wrong answer they provided is correct in a different context.

There are a lot of good ideas being shared as we look to add this aspect of KTL to our repertoire. Our conversations within the department meetings have encouraged this and fostered a willingness to try something new.

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