Tuesday, July 23, 2013


How do you handle IDK's in your classroom?  At #CAMT13, presenter Juliann Doris suggested using an anchor chart with suggestions for what to do instead of IDK.  I took her idea and created this poster to use in my classroom this year.

I've formatted this to print on 11x17" paper and will have 3 or 4 printed that way I can have several up around the room as a reminder of what to say "instead of IDK".  

You may have read that I am participating in a book study on Minds on Math Workshop.  One of the ideas presented in the book is that we should never accept "IDK" as an answer because it sets up a culture in the classroom that a student can say "IDK" and never be held accountable for his/her learning.  Ah-ha!  I loved this!  When we accept an IDK, we not only send the message that it's okay to not know (which it is), but we also tell the student that it's okay to "never know" because we aren't sending the message of "so you don't know it yet...what can you do do know it?"

I'm excited for a culture shift in my classroom this year!  

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  1. we have a district wide standard for this.
    our 4 are:
    1. May I please have more time to think?
    2. May I please have more information?
    3. Where can I find that information?
    4. May I ask for help?
    It is awesome because my 6th graders already come in knowing they can not say IDK.
    Love your poster though!!!

    Hodges Herald

  2. Wow! I would love to have a district-wide standard. It's not uncommon for me to have a student turn in a test with IDK for answers. Thanks for sharing!


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