When we began our first unit in Algebra we wanted to set the stage for good questioning and not just wrote note taking. Here are a few of the questions we used with our table groups so students would talk and form knowledge about what we were learning. We encourage students to debate with each other and provide solid mathematical evidence to support their thoughts.

- Variable
- At your table, discuss the variable in the problem and how you would solve for it: 2x-4=10

- Operations
- 4x+8=18 How do you use inverse operations to solve this?

- Coefficient
- Locate the coefficient(s), what happens to the coefficient when you solve.
- 5x=3x+2

- Locate the coefficient(s), what happens to the coefficient when you solve.
- Expression vs equation
- How could you make this expression an equation? Now solve at your table.
- 3.5x+12

When are are finished with each section, we ask the students what they think would be important to write down. Some write a lot, some not as much. It’s important for them to learn how much information they need for their own learning.