Date: February 17, 2010

Aim: students will be able to understand the algorithm.

Task: Yes/No guessing game.


The student should guess the object in the classrom with the help of 10 questions.


I accepted all the questions they have asked and did not comment upon them. The students did not guess the object. We reflected upon the questions the students asked and had a disscussion what questions would be effective and let you guess the object with the least number of questions.

The second time one of the students thought about the ofject and I guessed if with 2 questions.

The third time the students should guess the object with 5 questions and they succeeded this time.

Feedback: This task helped the students to understand the algorithm and introduce them to thinking task. This activity made the lesson more productive and suprisingly made the students think during the class and give more conscious answers. I will use one of the Yes/No games every class to make students into thinking frame of mind.



# Alexander Sokol 2011-02-18 15:01
welcome to the forum. A few questions / comments / suggestions below.
- I like your approach to Yes-No games. However, in my experience, it's easier to start with a number game and then go through the whole line of various types of the game ( This allows the students understand the approach better.
- When you say that the students understood the difference between weaker and stronger questions, what exactly do you mean? Can you share what you think the students understood? Do you think all of them did or just some? I am asking as it's often reasonable to get the students to clearly put down their algorithm / strategy / tool (this would be Step 2 of the Thinking Task Framework). This would allow them not only come back to the tool later on but also see if it's actually applicable in other situations. For example, what the students understood about the spatial yes-no game in the classroom, may not easily transfer to other types of yes-no games.
- do you think your objectives when dealing with the yes-no games may be broader than just getting the students into the thinking frame of mind?
- I am not sure I understand what exactly you asked the students to do re the second task you describe - can you give more details please? In fact, it'd be useful to separate posts dealing with two different topics into two separate posts. I'd also suggest that you upload (to Materials section) or give references to tasks you use, as then it'd be easier to follow the posts.
# Elena Ivanova 2011-02-21 03:13
thank you for welcoming message and the constructive comments.
1. Thank you for the link and the pdf document. I will try the number game before switching to the mini riddles.
2. As far as I understand Yes/No guessing game is like a training for the students, so they could solve any problem productively for a least amount of time. My students and I analyzed the questions asked and we came to conclussion that the weak questions might be just guessing questions because it was not very effective, the stringer questions should be connected with the shape of the object and the location. I think the students understood that the aim of this game is not mear guessing but think about the questions which might find out about the special or unique chatacteristics of the the object. I understand that all the students should understand the algorithm at this stage in order to move to another stage othertwise it might be a problem with some of the students because they might lose the time instead of applying the logical variants.
2. I do believe that there are several objectives of yes/no game and we can differentiate them according to the lingustic and thinking aim of the lesson. This game deals with practising the questions and vocabulary.
3. I will create a separate post for the second task and upload the sentences I have used to introduce the grammar.
# Alexander Sokol 2011-03-01 12:43
thanks for the answer. A few comments.
- why do you think that the questions about the shape and location will be stronger than the questions about other parameters?
- does it matter how a question about location look like? What I am trying to ask if one question about location may be stronger than another one about location. If so, then what does this difference depend on?
- I absolutely agree with you that the aims of the yes-no game may be different. However, if we speak about the TA, there are always BOTH thinking and language aims. Thus, if there's an aim dealing with vocabulary, there should always be another aim dealing with thinking. And these two aims should be followed in an integrated way.
# Elena Ivanova 2011-03-08 13:38
Thank you for all your useful comments:
- I think that first of all the students should distinguish the parameters and formulate them into the questions. I believe that the questions about shape and location should be primarly ones if someone would like to guess the object for the least number of questions. Is it connected with ENV model? Would you be so kind to clarify this model (Element - Name of Feature - Value of Feature). Thank you in advance.
# Alexander Sokol 2011-03-08 15:06
yes, thinking about parameters that would underlie the questions would be an approach based on the ENV model. I'd also agree that Location is a good parameter for finding an object in the room, especially if students manage to ask such a question that 50% of the options are eliminated. I am not sure that shape is as good as location, though, but it may depend on a particular game.
What exactly would you like me to clarify re the ENV model?
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