To open opportunities for students’ math reasoning, change the questions.

### Instead of *What iS?* Ask *What iF?*

The questions look similar. Yet they imply very different responses.

*What iS?*“Give an answer”*What iF?*“Consider the possibilities”

### Too often, students experience math as a pursuit of *“What iS?”* rather than an exploration of *“What iF?*“

Take graphs and functions for example,

- What iS a graph of a function?
- What iF a graph represents a function?

The first question implies that students should give an answer – a graph of a function. The second question implies that students consider possibilities for graphs that represent functions.

### Questions communicate what gets privileged.

Rather than just telling students that their math reasoning is important, ask questions that privilege reasoning rather than answer finding.