Thoughts on math inquiry…subject to change after I click ‘Publish’.


Working on it…

I have been fortunate to learn from a number of people who have either known a lot about math inquiry or, like me, are still learning about the nuances of an inquiry based learning model.

This post lists a few of the important things I have learned along the way and; therefore, serves more as reminders to myself, rather than a definitive list.

I know this list will grow, in time.  Hopefully you the reader can help me add to it.

In subsequent posts I intend to elaborate on select points from the list.

1)  Inquiry seems difficult.  Until you start.

2)  Math Inquiry allows for multiple access points into content and encourages students to work from their strengths, via context.

3)  Your curriculum document must be a go-to resource when forming an inquiry question.

4)  When creating inquiry problems, be concerned with whether or not it is problematic   enough to generate discussion, and not simply whether it will make for a nice math poster.

5)  The math textbook is a resource; not necessarily a long range plan.

6)  Have an area in the classroom where you and your students can get together to reflect upon and highlight thinking (congress). Ensure there are materials handy for students to help make their thinking visible to the group.

7)  During the congress, not everyone shares.  Pick 2 to 3 posters or ideas that have something important to highlight about the selected learning goal.

8)  Have a learning goal.

9)  1 or 2 focus questions posted during congress can help the conversation journey toward the selected learning goal.


10)  Model to students that asking a well phrased question can demonstrate deeper understanding, more than a simple answer to a question could.

11)  When students are ready for it, tell them not to raise their hands if they want to share an idea.  Just talk.

12)  When the teacher is ready for it, let students pose questions so they can help lead learning during the reflection stage.

13)  Some direct teaching may need to be incorporated in an inquiry model.  DISCLAIMER:  Student-learning was not harmed during this direct teaching segment.  

14)  Math inquiry follows an asset model and allows for students to build on their success.

15)  The congress format is just one way of reflecting over student work.  There are other formats of doing this too.

16)  Doing a 3-part lesson does not mean you are doing inquiry.

17)  “Inquiry learning is not possible if language dev is not in place. How can a stdnt choose an inquiry if OL is ‘at risk’? #ORFR”   –  @CarmelCrevola

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