Strange Rulers and Strange Questions

I presented on this topic with D. Lee Clark for professional development facilitators from around the state. This meeting was a formal meeting sponsored by Strengthening Tomorrow’s Education in Measurement. We talked about teacher questioning in the context of some STEM tasks, using the Boaler and Brodie (2004) framework:

  1. Gathering information
  2. Inserting terminology
  3. Exploring mathematical meaning and relationships
  4. Probing; getting students to explain their thinking
  5. Generating discussion
  6. Linking and applying
  7. Extending thinking
  8. Orienting and focusing
  9. Establishing context

Measurement Tasks

Jagged Paths

Strange Rulers

Why do we use frameworks for questioning?

  • Direct your thinking/focus
  • Gives us a way to communicate with each other
  • Provides us with a starting point to direct our focus.
  • Goal is not to code all questions identically, but if everyone coded differently then it would be an opportunity to think about the usefulness of that particular framework.

Boaler and Brodie framework

This is only one possible framework of many.  Generated from practice – these are the types of things that teachers from actual classrooms are asking.  Categories are detailed enough without being overwhelming. Nice framework to use for people that are either just beginning to think about their questions or are in the stages between using good questions and trying to get good discussions going in the classrooms.

  • How can you (as facilitators) use intentional questioning in your PD sessions?
  • How might you use this framework (or others) with your teacher-participants?
  • What questioning types are the previous questions? (Is the number important?)

Teacher-participants – How might you want to do this with your teachers?

Very important to have your teachers have time to do a task with questioning in the session – this is a valuable use of time. They will have time to take notes, think about it – gives them the feeling that you value their time and feel this important.

Could be videos of themselves or a video from the Annenberg website


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