Day 21: Structuring Growth Exercises

One period in, curricular partner (the teacher I plan with) and I realized that the lesson we planned for today (“growth by shrinking” with negative numbers and decimals) was too ambitious. Kiddos seemed OK with negative numbers, but struggled with place value. We decided to review/practice growth by adding and growth by multiplying (which is what we had just finished learning on Thursday). The idea is to start with a number, then grow four times, either by adding or multiplying the same number.

I wonder how much the structure of the activity/graphic organizers confuses our kiddos.  There were stairs that were supposed to help students organize the starting number, ending number, and steps in between. Most students understood the addition and multiplication bits, but I think they were confused about where to put which numbers and operations. Photo below is 2 student work samples. One shows a bit of confusion about how to use the steps, one shows some pretty good multiplication. I would have loved both kiddos to show more problems in general, but you take what you can get. 


Also featured: Things in My Pocket at the End of the Day:

Things in My Pocket - Monday, September 16th

Left school at 6:30. Pretty bad considering I thought I could get out at 4:30.

Day 20: Too Fat, Mister

Today’s activity was on linear and exponential growth. Students had to scale a model of a human by addition and scale another model by multiplication, with the idea that there are situations when linear growth is a better model and situations where exponential growth is a better model.

The red copy is the “growth by adding” version from a student (who was then exiled to a lone table for goofing off, sigh), the black copy is my hastily drawn version of the same from when one class didn’t quite get as far as I would have liked before the debrief.

Funny how the debrief has to happen anyway.


Interesting that many students instinctively thought they were doing something wrong when their model “turned out funny”. Also curious to see how easily students doubt themselves and how hard it can be for them to defy convention.

(Note: typing from my phone in hopes that I can get these up faster at the end of the day)