Questions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking
How the publisher describes it:
“Challenging questions to tease out structures and concepts of mathematics”
Review by James Robinson
“One of the first books I bought as an NQT, and still refer to.”
One of the first books I bought as an NQT, and still refer to, was Questions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking. This book forms an invaluable resource for the generation of key questions, whether used for lesson planning or in my own mathematical study. Designing questions to provoke students into thinking about mathematics, rather than just mathematical skills, was not as simple as I first thought when I began teaching.
Reading this book helped me to understand that good questions — questions that show misconceptions, encourage new generalisations or specialisations — rarely happen by accident.
The book splits the types of questions we could ask into a grid and then gives examples of questions that fit that category. So, for example, an ‘Exemplifying/Example’ could be ‘Describe which features of ¾ make it an example of a fraction greater than ½.’ Students can then be encouraged to share their insight with the class. More structure can be placed on the question to push it into new and interesting directions.
The questions given in the book form an excellent starting point to encourage students to develop mathematical skills beyond the basics they are normally shown. In short it helps us to teach mathematicians, and not just mathematics.