Bloom’s Taxonomy

Question Classification Scheme

Behavioral Complexity

Expected student behavior

Instructional Processes

Key words


The student is able to remember or recall information and recognize facts, terminology, and rules. RepetitionMemorization DefineDescribe



The student is able to change the form of a communication by translating and rephrasing what has been read or spoken. ExplanationIllustration SummarizeParaphrase



The student is able to apply the information learned to a context different from the one in which it was learned. PracticeTransfer ApplyUse



The student is able to break a problem down into its component parts and to draw relationships among the parts. InductionDeduction RelateDistinguish



The student is able to combine parts to form a unique or novel solution to a problem. DivergenceGeneralization FormulateCompose



The student is able to make decisions about the value or worth of methods, ideas, people, or products according to expressed criteria. DiscriminationInference AppraiseDecide


Source: from “Effective Teaching Methods,” by Borich

A probe is a question that immediately follows a student’s response. (p.310)

  1. Eliciting probes: encourage students to show more of what they know
  • to have students rephrase or reword a response (T: checking the response)

(e.g. “Can you try to explain that in another way?”)

2. Soliciting probes: ask for new information

  • to use the probe to push the student’s response to a more complex level

(e.g. “Now that you have taken 5 squared, how can you extend the same idea to find 5 cubed?”)

3. Redirecting probes

  • to restructure the students’ response in a more productive direction

Examples of talk in action in Mathematics

“Talk Moves “

Five Productive Talk Moves

–   Move 1: Revoicing (“So you’re saying that it’s an odd number?”)

  • to repeat some or all of what students has said, then
  • to ask students to respond and verify whether or not the teacher’s revoicing is correct

(Revoicing provides more “thinking space”)

–  Move 2: Repeating: asking students to restate someone else’s reasoning (“Can you repeat what he just said in your own words?”)

  • to ask one student to repeat or rephrase what another student has said, and then immediately following up with the first student

–   Move 3: Reasoning: asking students to apply their own reasoning to someone else’s responding (“Do you agree or disagree and why?”)

–   Move 4: Adding on: prompting students for further participation (“Wound someone like to add something more to this?”)

–   Move 5: Waiting: using wait time (“Take your time… we’ll wait…”)

 Source from “Classroom Discussion: Using math talk to help students learn, by Suzanne H. Chapin, Catherine O’Connor, & Nancy Canavan Anderson”


Borich, G. D. (2010). Effective Teaching Methods (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson Prentice Hall.

Chapin, S.H., O’Connor C., & Anerson, N. C. (2009). Classroom Discussions: using math talk to help students learn. CA: Math Solutions.