Skip to Content

Stump the Teacher Activity

I learned about this Stump the Teacher Activity from Judy Schwarz while attending a session titled “Taking the Practice Out of the Worksheet” by Judy Schwarz of Moore Public Schools at the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics Summer Conference.

stump the teacher activity

It goes as follows:

  • Give students a textbook section to read.  Set a timer.
  • When the timer goes off, the teacher closes his/her textbook.
  • Students take turns asking the teacher questions that could be found in that textbook section.
  • If a student is able to stump the teacher, he/she gets a small prize.  (Judy says she gives 1 point extra credit when a student is able to stump her.)
  • After the teacher feels like she has an idea of the students’ understanding of the concept based on their questions, the tables are turned.  Now, the students close their textbooks and the teacher starts calling on students to answer questions.

This activity gets students reading and re-reading as they try to formulate questions to ask.  Students need to think about what the main ideas of the lesson are and what common sources of errors might be.  The teacher makes sure to pull out important ideas not brought up by students when it is his/her turn to ask questions.

A quick google search led me to another more thorough explanation of this activity.

I don’t use textbooks in my classroom, so I’m not sure how I’d apply this structure to my classroom.  If I could find an interesting article that relates to a topic we are studying, I might could see myself using this structure to ensure that students actually read the article.  Hmmm…