Most of the time, I find myself trying to improve low-level questions. It seems like **everything** aims at the bottom of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

But then I stumbled on the resources at Visual Patterns!

Here’s a sample question:

Now, this question asks for high-level thinking! But. **It will also intimidate some (many?) of our students.** (Heck, I used this with teachers during professional development and half of them wouldn’t even try!).

Rookie Ian would have just simplified the question – **but that robs my students of the chance to think!** The key is to scaffold. I want to **start with something simpler and work my way back up**.

So, first, I’ll just show three tables. And all students have to do is count. Then they’d predict the fourth step.

See how *easy* that first question is to get started? Then asking for a prediction is less intimidating, too.

Once a student answers that successfully, I finally give them the picture of the fourth table. **They’ll cheer** because they got the right answer. (Always build in chances for students to *discover* they were right.)

Now I can ask:

Then, only once they can do that, would I give out that initial question.

When we scaffold a high-level question, we’ll end up with more students who can answer that same question successfully. But everyone can still move along as quickly as they need to.

- For Byrdseed.TV subscribers, I have a whole category of math videos like this.
- And, yep, I’ve got a PD video breaking this all down, as well.