Math 3-6

Systems Change
Math 3-6 > Strategies > Guided Inquiry

Guided Inquiry


In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning. While exploring and investigating a problem, teachers guide students to talk through their thinking, which supports development of students' Reasoning, mathematical thinking and problem solving, and Math Communication skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Starting at 10:38, watch how this teacher guides her students through a math problem with strategic questions and a think-aloud. Through this effective questioning, students are able to dive more deeply into the math problem individually and with their math group.

  • The teacher plays a crucial role in guided inquiry by raising students' awareness of how to use language as a tool for reasoning. Teachers can ask questions that provoke thinking and provide their own ideas for possible answers that stimulate further questions. For example, a teacher can show visual area problems and guide students to identify the patterns and relationships between a circumference and a diameter of spherical shapes to foster Geometric Reasoning.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Products can embed questions that pop up while learners are exploring content to prompt deeper, reflective thinking at key stages.