Activity: Practice Asking Good Questions


The purpose of this activity is to practice asking questions that will stimulate student thinking and provide you with information about how they understand (or misunderstand) certain concepts.


  1. Read the sections of the Unit 6 Tool for the Field titled,  “A List of Good Questions” and “A List of Not-so-Good Questions.”  Be sure to review both lists of questions and reflect on why they are good or not-so-good questions.
  2. Identify a student, either one you work with or one that you know through your family or friends. Ask the student if you can work on a math homework assignment together.
  3. Help the student with the assignment as you normally would, with one exception: Make an effort to ask more questions than you typically would. Try to ask “good” questions. Keep at it, and don’t be discouraged. Remember that most students are not used to good questions! And you’re not used to asking them! This is completely fine and is an expected part of the activity.
  4. After the session, reflect on the following issues:
    1. Did any questions get the student talking? Why do you think that was?
    2. What was difficult or confusing for you about this experience?
    3. What was difficult or confusing for the student about this experience?
    4. How might you use what you learned in this practice activity with the students you are currently or will soon to be working with?