When Good Questions Lead The Way

I could have asked this:

There are 54 countries (most of the time) in Africa. There are 196 (mas or menos) countries in the World. What percent of the World's countries are African?

Instead I asked this "What percent of the world's countries do you think are in Africa?"
We recorded the guesses...

Then we did this:
How many countries are in Africa?
And then we did this:

How many countries are in the world?
And THEN we framed the question and wrote an equation and solved it. So much more fun!

We were also revisiting a poorly written test question (by me!) on purpose. Well it had a purpose that didn't work on the test, yet I was still able to use it when we discussed the "correct" answer. (I purposefully made the question so that there wasn't any one correct answer, however, I neglected to have the students explain their answer.)

Marianna said, "I wrote California if you are talking about size, and New Mexico if you are talking about percent of land," (Yah, Baby!) (I won't mention the the kid who said, "New Mexico is a state?")

Then from some lovely blogger who gave me the idea, I threw out there: let's add another column,

Forest Acres per person? Would that change our opinion?

I just love those teachable moments when everyone is arguing about...numbers...

What was your most recent teachable moment?

PS Sorry about the horrible image insert job, I am learning! 

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