Reflection: ELL Students Amazing Animals - Graphing and Asking Questions - Section 4: Writing and Answering Questions About the Data (Comparisons)


The task of writing questions lends itself well to on-the-spot differentiation.  As this is a beginning of the year lesson, I'm still getting to know my students areas of strength and needed support.  

I teach gifted students who also speak English as a 2nd language (about 2/3 of the class) and there is a wide variation of skills.  All students need work writing questions.  I meet them where they are.  

If they are really struggling, I back up to the level of extremely simple questions. "How many fish did we name?"  I aim for on-level "How many more bony fish did we name than cartilaginous fish?" For kids ready for extension, I encourage two-step questions, such as the one I modeled and also ask them to consider the value of their question.  

Sure, they can compare the number of spiders named to the number of snakes named, but what will be learned from that comparison?  I am always encouraging them to look for meaning, and if they see meaning in their questions, great, but if they are just making comparisons for no particular reason I ask them to consider how to make a more meaningful comparison or add-together question.

  Writing Questions
  ELL Students: Writing Questions
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Amazing Animals - Graphing and Asking Questions

Unit 1: 1st Week: Getting to Know Each Other Through Graphs
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT set up a graph, transfer data to it from a table, and ask / answer questions related to that data.

Big Idea: Students love animals and discussing the basic of animal classification and sharing what they know provides another activity that builds classroom community and a home-school connection.

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Math, Classroom Culture and Climate, collecting data, Graphing
  62 minutes
sample graph
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