What’s in each Inquiry Based Lesson?

Inquiry Based Lessons focus on a mathematical concept and lead students through a multi-day learning experience, spanning 3–5 days. Each day of a lesson follows a similar structure:

The lesson structure: start lesson; inquiry introduced; develop question; group work; and present, explain and critique.

Start Lesson

Day 1 of an Inquiry Based Lesson begins with a grade-level appropriate Number Talk (or a Dot Talk for 1st grade lessons). Subsequent days begin with a review of the concepts introduced previously.

Inquiry Introduced

The inquiry is introduced in an engaging 1–3 minute video. It's important to play the inquiry video two times so that students hear all the relevant information and understand the context of the lesson.

Develop Question

Next, students come up with the critical question(s) to answer on their own, engaging in active problem-solving and building conceptual understanding.

  • In all presentations for grades 1–5, guiding questions help students decide together on the question(s) to answer.
  • For middle school lessons, we give students more independence in determining the question(s).

Group Work

After developing the question(s) they will answer, students spend time working in groups to solve the inquiry. This gives students an opportunity to communicate their own ideas as well as validate and question what their classmates have to say.

Present, Explain, & Critique

To close out, students present their solutions to their classmates, explaining their thinking and problem-solving strategies. Every day finishes with a reflection that asks students to consider both the concepts covered as well as their thinking process.