Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who should share their turkey-cost solutions?

All images are from New Perspectives on Learning
used with the permission of the authors
In preparing future educators to facilitate productive math lessons, we provide opportunities for them to apply the Five Practices to problems like the one shown here. Teachers began (in the first post of this series) by identifying a Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) to focus on and Anticipating student solution strategies related to this SMP. Next (in the second post), they watched video of third-graders solving the problem in order to Monitor their efforts and compare them to the Anticipated responses. The teachers were also given copies of the students' work to examine. Teachers use this work to begin the process of Selecting who might share during a whole class discussion.

For example, the teachers focusing on SMP 5 might Select these students to share because they all used the open number line as a tool.
The discussion could revolve around how this tool was used appropriately and strategically.

Another group of teachers, focusing on precision could Select the work of the third-graders shown below since they seemed to arrive at different answers.
The class could work together to determine what question each pair of students was answering and how to move toward a correct solution.

Finally, teachers wanting to focus on structure might Select these four student-pairs.
This work included different ways students used the structure of money (decimals) to arrive at a solution.

By strategically Selecting student work to share, a teacher does not leave the  ensuing discussion to the vagaries of volunteers. Consequently, the resulting classroom conversations becomes more purposeful and productive. But first, the teacher must apply another of the Five Practices - number four, Sequencing

How might a teacher organize the Selected student-work for each SMP in order to maximum learning and why?

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