Math PK-2

Systems Change
Math PK-2 > 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' mathematical reasoning and Language Skills.

Teachers can also target specific math skills through guided inquiry activities. Arithmetic Fact Retrieval, Cardinality, Counting, Estimation, Operations, Place Value, and Symbolic Number skills can all be supported through guided inquiry with problems using these skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this school embraces inquiry-based learning in multiple subjects, including reading and writing. As students and teachers ask questions that drive deeper thinking, students develop their curiosity and excitement for learning.

  • 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. Additionally, because asking questions elicits deeper thinking and can challenge previous thinking, inquiry in math has the potential to foster growth mindsets.
  • 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.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy