Is your classroom open for learning? Engaging Students Through The Use of Open Questions & Parallel Tasks Minds On: Which tree has grown more? Analyzing the task • Open-response, open-ended, openrouted? • What makes the question open? • What answers are possible? Which do we most value? • Multiple entry points provide differentiation • Strategies for discussing answers Our session goals are to respond to the following questions: • • • • • • What are open and parallel tasks? Why use these types of questions? With whom should I use them? How are they created? When and how should they be used? What are the conditions needed to be successful? Open questions can be created by providing the answer Analyzing the task • Are the labels “closed” and “open” correct? Why? • What prior learning does the student need to understand to respond to each question? • What scaffolding can we provide struggling students to engage in the problem? • What scaffolding can we provide competent students to go deeper into the problem? Scaffolding to prompt thinking • Does the line slant up or down? How do you know? • Is the line steep? How steep? • If you knew one point on the line, how would you move to get another point? • If you use (0,0) as one point, can you use rise over run to find the other? • Is there more than one line with this slope? • Can you find a pair of points with one point in the (-,-) quadrant? Prompting for similarities and differences opens up a question Open by allowing students to choose numbers or context Describe a situation that could reasonably produce this graph. Then, explain each of the three parts of the graph. Include appropriate numbers and labels. Parallel tasks Task A Task B To create a parallel task: 1. Start with a typical question 2. Create a parallel task by identifying and removing anticipated barriers 3. Ensure both tasks focus on the same concept/expectation 4. Prepare common questions that can be posed to the entire class What common questions can be used to discuss these tasks? Common questions Common questions should: • Engage students of both tasks • Make student thinking visible • Make connections and close the gap • Provide an opportunity to reason, prove, reflect on reasonableness of answers • Provide an opportunity to practice vocabulary Examples: • Do you know which way your line slants? How do you know? • Could (0,0) be on your line? How do you know? • Why was it a good idea to choose one point where the x-coordinate was 3 away from -4? • What points did you use? How did you choose them? Practice and sharing With a partner: 1. Select a problem from handout or one of your own (write it out) 2. Change it into an open or parallel task 3. Create prompts/scaffolding students that can’t get started during the activity 4. Create prompts/questions to ask to discuss solutions Be prepared to share you ideas with the group using the document camera Summary • What? Open and parallel tasks provide with multiple entry points • Why & who? Accessible questions engage learners at various levels • How? Question can be opened by allowing students to choose context and numbers, giving the answer, using open wording. Parallel tasks are created by removing the anticipated barrier What do you think? • When: When would you provide students opportunities to engage in open or parallel questions? – near the beginning or end of a lesson or unit? – before or after closed problems? • How: How would you use open and parallel tasks? – assessment for, as or of learning? – in groups or individually? • Conditions: What classroom conditions are needed to be to be successful engaging in open and parallel tasks? How would you build this capacity? Homework Try a few open or parallel tasks in your classroom. Start small. Build positive conditions. Share your experiences in April.