Our school/summer program works with a wide range of prior student knowledge. As such, I feel like teachers sometimes talk about whether they feeling stronger supporting students with interrupted education or students who need more of a challenge (the two extremes of the spectrum). For whatever reason, I often think of myself who is (mildly) better at supporting students who are struggling.
So I’m pretty pleased with how Wednesday’s extension went. We started with a 3 Reads problem that I’ve done before (the first one I ever wrote and, surprisingly, one of the strongest ones I’ve taught). It ties in pretty well with the content we’re studying right now – linear functions and volume. Most of the class tried to figure out how many boxes there were be if a certain number of boxes kept appearing every day. The one group that was farther ahead got yardsticks and had to estimate if all the boxes would fit on the third floor, which involved actual estimating and modeling (if you think I’m letting kiddos out into the hallway to roam free during last period, you might be confused).
Photo: Student answer sheet and calculations: What do you observe? What do you wonder?
3 reads protocol to wrap up coordinate geometry. Still stuff to work on, but some good sense-making going on.
This unit has been a chance to try and explore and tweak new things. One thing I’ve been exploring is the 3 Reads protocol, where we read over a word problem (minus the actual question) 3 times to look for the main idea, the numbers, and something we wonder.
We tried one today that felt a little less successful as the context felt a bit forced. (This is also interesting as it feels like this unit, which is short due to its placement in the year, lacks a context for the kiddos to wrap their heads around and engage with) Still, we made sense of numbers and thought about midpoints.
Photo: Student work and annotation.
Photo: Student wonderings:
Maybe 3 summers ago, a colleague of mine did a session on the 3 reads protocol. The idea is to read a problem stem (a mathematics problem, but without an actual question) 3 times. First, the teacher reads and the kiddos look for the main idea. Next, the teacher or a student reads and the kiddos look for all the numbers and what they mean (Are they negative? What do they represent? and so on…). Then, the kiddos read and try to ask as many mathematical questions about the problem as they can. The teacher then either picks a question or reveals the question to be investigated.
Curriculum partner was out for the day, so I decided to give it a whirl.
It was surprisingly easy to set up. It also gave kiddos a way to cut through the wordiness of the problem by getting them to think about the main idea and then the numbers and how they were related. They could bring in the rest of the words as necessary, but they weren’t a barrier. I spent about half an hour the night before trying to find the perfect problem in several textbooks and just ended up writing a pretty standard (boring) problem. Which worked fine.
Definitely on the docket to try again soon.