This idea came from Alice Keeler and the late Diana Herrington’s book Teaching Math with Google Apps. I have wanted to implement it for some time and even had some conversations with Alice about how she is currently using it. This year I finally created some. The whole point behind this type of question is to get student to look up information, explain their thinking, and persevere until they have it correct.

Now, Alice does a much more in depth version of this, and I LOVE it, but my students aren’t ready for it yet. We will get there!

I give the students a question on a slide. One portion is for their answer, another portion is for them to explain their thinking. I leave comments and return them if they need correction or more in depth explanation. Taking some advice from Alice, I started off by giving students credit as quickly as possible. They will get frustrated and quit if they have to resubmit too many times. If the response if VERY incorrect, I will conference with the student face -to -face so we can discuss their misconceptions and they can be more successful with their next submission. I only give one of these a week and I do give them a grade for it. But remember, they can resubmit based on feedback as many times as needed.

Here are some examples of thinking questions I’ve given Geometry so far.

I don’t assign points for practice but I’m making the exception for this. I feel like the effort and perseverance creates a deeper mathematical understanding. The students have responded well to it and most students turn it in successfully.

As always, let me know if you use this idea in your classroom.