Date: February 21, 2010

Aim: students will be able to understand the algorithm.

Task: Yes/No number guessing game.


The students should guess the number from 1 to 1000 with the help of 10 questions. This time it was Yes/No number guessing game. It was rather logical as the next step of our class was the revision the way numeric data like 0,6; 11.68; 12,356 is said.

First af all we have revised the characterristics of the strong questions. Then students had a chance to guess the number for 10 questions. They succeeded and the questions they have asked surprised me as they were thinking ones like:

Is this number more than 500? 

Is this number more than 250?

How many digits are there?

Does it consist of equal digits?

Is this number between 77 and 99?

There were only 2 just guessing questions.

The second round the student who guesses the number thought about another one and the students should guess for 5 questions. The next surprise was when they have managed to do it for 2 questions.


I was glad to hear that the students were excited to hear that we are going to play a guessing game again. I think that all the students have understood the characteristics of strong and weak questions. 


# Alexander Sokol 2011-03-01 12:38
Elena, I wanted to ask if you had a chance to summarise the algorithm / strategy for asking powerful questions with a group? If you did, can you say a few words about how it looked like? It'd also be interesting to know if you had a chance to define what 'a powerful question' means. Did the students agree on this point? Did they 'fix' it anywhere?
# Elena Ivanova 2011-03-04 08:44
Alexander, thank you for your comment. We had a discussion with the students after a game about the powerful questions ( the questions which help to find the answer in the most efficient way).We agreed that the question should be focused on the special characteristics or exclude the possible answer. Personally I think that this yes/no number guessing game prepares the students for the further problematic situations and helps them to see the core of the problem.
# Alexander Sokol 2011-03-08 15:08
Elena, true, the most difficult thing to acquire is normally the fact that a good question should eliminate 50% of possible answers. In other words, we should identify a parameter and ask such a question that 50% of all values are eliminated. This is always best in terms of reducing the research area in problem solving.
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