When students write explanations of their work, give examples of concepts, and make up their own problems, teachers gain a window into their students’ thinking and are better able to assess both student understanding as well as progress over time.

Here are some ideas for prompts:

~ Define _________  in your own words. Give examples and non-examples.

~ How would you describe ________ to someone unfamiliar with our number system?

~ Write a paragraph about a {graph, table, statistic} in the news.

~ How do you know that ________ ? Explain your thinking.

~ Show as many examples of ________ as you can.

~ What properties do ________ have?

~Write a letter to {absent student} that explains the key points in today’s lesson. Make up your own example(s) to illustrate the key points.

~ Make up a problem for your classmates to solve using what you learned {today, this week, in this chapter}

~ _______ is important in real life because ___________…

~ How are the methods we learned for _______ alike? How are they different? When would you use each method? Do you prefer one method? Why or why not?

~ How is the use of {vocabulary word} in math different than its everyday usage?

~ Create a visual representation of _________ and explain your creation.

~ Discuss whether a precise answer is needed in this problem or whether a reasonable estimate will suffice.

~ Compare and contrast ______ and _______.

~ Make up an activity or a game that can help your classmates understand ________.

~ Although I didn’t understand ______ last week, today I realized that_____….