Aug 182013

So the other day I am giving my Algebra 2 STEM learners (this is our Honors designation” the big picture of Algebra 2. You know, so they know where they are at and where the class is going. This is what I had written on the right of the screen.

2013-08-15 11.41.37 2


After writing this down, I did the following exercise:


What do you notice about this list?

Here is a list of everything I wrote on the board:











Then I asked what do they wonder. This took some time, and I was REALLY glad I gave them lots and lots of processing time. Some of the later wonderings took some time to develop.

THEN I asked for a show of hands how many people wondered the same thing. It was amazing that most of the learners wondered the same thing about the important math. I was very pleased.


I think the list of “vertex functions” will be written on the board as we go repeatedly so they always have that reference of where they are at in the process.

What do you Notice, What do you Wonder? is a very powerful tool to get the learners involved. Max Ray at The Math Forum at Drexel has done a lot of work (even applied for a trademark for the Notice / Wonder phrasing) in this area.

The “What do you notice?” and “What do you wonder?” questions are great ways to pull even reluctant learners into the process of engaging with the material. I know I will be using it again and again.

  2 Responses to “My Class Noticed & Wondered”

  1. I loved this when you presented it at TMC13, and I love this use in the classroom. Can’t wait to borrow it!

  2. I notice that you mentioned waiting patiently for the wonderings to develop. I too have experienced that a second or third round of wonderings, often preceded by some serious wait time, can bring out some gems. And gems that resonate with the group, not just those one or two well-versed wonderers!

    I wonder how you will refer back to their noticings and wonderings as their exploration of graphs and function families unfolds. I wonder how many of their wonderings will be addressed in this course.

    I also wonder who invented them! I hope we can find out more about that for each family!

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