Monday, October 1, 2012

Today's Question

At least once a week, sometimes more our class enjoys a routine called Today's Question. It is a routine that is a part of our Investigations Math curriculum. The children collect, complete and respond to  data investigation regarding a question that resonates with them in some way. A question that has meaning to them or the work of the classroom. 

On this particular day we responded to the question, 
"Do you own a dog?".

First, we decoded the words in the question together. Which words are known? What letters can we identify in the unknown words? What can we learn about the unknown words using the context of the surrounding words in the question? The children perceive the decoding as a puzzle....once the question is unlocked we can then begin the survey. 

Several years ago Cat made voting blocks for our classroom. Each child has a block with his or her name written to distinguish their block from others. It is three dimensional, tangible and it belongs to them (or at least for that year). They take great pride in the vote they cast.

Collecting date is always appealing to children but the power lies in the interpretation of data. The children are asked to make observations regarding the data collected. 
"What do you notice?".  
This one question taps into counting, comparing quantities, considering the part-part-whole relationship. 
We do not tell children what to notice or what is important but rather over time the children begin to interpret the data in a way that makes the most sense and conveys the most meaning to the group.

In this particular question Tannin holds the deciding vote. Is there an equal number of students that do and do not own dogs or will there be a great number of dog owners within our classroom?

Ask your child to tell you the answer.

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