# How to Start Inquiry Based Learning In Math

So I followed this model, and tried to attack eqao questions in a different way. Show a picture, a set of data, or even a part of the question. And to expand one eqao question over 3 or more lessons, touching on more math concepts than just one. I would present the partial problem to the class and tell them to write down all information they could see in their math journals. Then, I would challenge them to write their own questions based on the information they had. We would then group the questions, and students would answer questions in groups. This would provide differentiated instruction as well, and created amazing math conversations. Most of the time, the problems the class would write would be richer than the actual question! Then we would share the questions and answers as a group. And, after all the inquiry was done, I would share the actual question, and require students to answer it independently. Their answers improved dramatically and their confidence grew!

Here are some pictures of an example from my class. The question was about how many square units (area) each school playground was. But as you can see, they developed different questions and some were much richer!

So, here are some steps to start inquiry based learning in your mathematics program.

STEP #1
Select the expectations that you want students to learn.  What concepts do they need to know?

STEP #2
Select a question that has already been made.  I like to choose questions that have tables, charts, pictures or diagrams.

STEP #3
Don't show students the question... just the picture, table, diagram etc.  Ask them to write down what math they see from the picture

STEP #4
Then have students write on the other side of the book / page questions that go with this image.

STEP #5
Have students share their questions.  Group like questions together.

STEP #6
Use their questions for your problem solving time for the next 2-3 periods.

STEP #7
After all of your rich problem solving, have students solve the actual question.  See their confidence soar!

What are your thoughts in inquiry based learning?  How do you tackle it in mathematics?