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I was curious how they would go about choosing their numbers! When I told them I was not giving them the information and that instead they were choosing their own numbers along with the question they wanted to answer, they were so excited!Would they strategize about the numbers to make it easier for themselves? Some partners chose their numbers very strategically to make it easier for themselves.To me, this demonstrated a lot of sense-making and forethought of what was going to happen in their solution path.
At the same time, I'm provided insight into my students' mathematical understanding.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a 3rd grade class.
They had just finished their multiplication and division unit and would soon be starting work on fractions.
In order for their teacher and I to see and hear how students apply the operations, make sense of contexts, and currently think about fractions, I thought it would be interesting to take a story problem from their Student Activity Book and take out the question and numbers.
Instead of students thinking about how they're going to solve the problem as they read, they are truly thinking about the situation at hand.
It's been an amazing way to give every student entry into a problem and allows me to differentiate for all learners in the classroom.
Oftentimes, though, the student's answer isn't even reasonable. This scenario has me reflecting on the Common Core Standard of Mathematical Practice 1: Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution.
They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals.
I launched the lesson by posting the sentence on the board and recorded the things they noticed and wondered.
They noticed: Based on what they noticed and were wondering about, I felt everyone had a strong grasp of the context and a sense of where this was going.