Using both Assessing and Advancing Questions.
Recall that there are two basic functions for the questions you ask your students during any lesson. Questions can either assess the thinking students have already done or can advance their thinking into another area of the mathematics for the lesson.
In the introduction of a lesson, as goals are set, you can use assessing questions to determine students’ prior knowledge and thinking on the topic or goal of the day. As the lessons progress, you use assessing questions when you approach a working team to solicit information on their thinking thus far. When using assessing questions in this way you are allowing time to determine (rather than assuming you know) if students are progressing well and where they may need to be supported next. When you can deliver assessing questions that probe student thinking, students understand that their thinking is valued and will often realize their own misconceptions or come up with their own next steps when given time to stop and share their thinking so far.
Leave teams with an advancing question as you feel they are ready to move towards the goal of the lesson. Advancing does not mean that the question is an extension (although it could be for some teams) but instead refers to a question that moves students’ thinking towards the key ideas of the lesson. After posing an advancing question, remember to walk away so that teams have time to collaborate on a rough draft of their thinking on the advancing question. Then always remember to return to continue the progression.