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.