Mystery Problem: Mystery Problem

 
 
 
Mystery Problem
Students In Action
 
 
Students In Action
 
 
 
Whole-Group Instruction

Mystery Problem

This strategy is a biweekly problem solving investigation on recently learned content. Typically students will be given sample scanned answers that I have hand selected. These problems have been previously solved. Students meet on the carpet for the mystery problem reveal. We also cover what the goal of our session will be using a checklist/success rubric. They are then dismissed to investigate in teams. The students select manipulatives to discuss, develop an agreed upon idea, and critique which student(s) response they agree with/why. If a team finishes early they can work on they "Step ahead" which is harder differentiated task. Finally they use the checklist to self reflect if they were successful during the mystery problem session.

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Lesson Plan
 
 
The Checklist/Rubric is an assessment tool students use to convey where they are with their task for the lesson or team task. The checklist has indicators students select from: starting to [understand], not yet, and Yes! The rubric is checked off as the team progresses through the lesson and at the conclusion they evaluate how they did. Using this rubric with student friendly language allows students to determine what there next steps may be during a lesson, provide constructive feedback to one another, or consider what they need work on to be ready for the next lesson.
Student Work Sample
 
 
The sample slides show the progression of the mystery problem. We start by revealing and reviewing the self-assessment checklist, consider what we know about the topic and move on to the mystery. Within the mystery problem slide, students determine which student written solution from their math journals is correct by solving the problem in their teams. Students are free to select any manipulatives we have available during the mystery problem team time.
Students In Action
 
 
Lesson Plan
 
 
The Checklist/Rubric is an assessment tool students use to convey where they are with their task for the lesson or team task. The checklist has indicators students select from: starting to [understand], not yet, and Yes! The rubric is checked off as the team progresses through the lesson and at the conclusion they evaluate how they did. Using this rubric with student friendly language allows students to determine what there next steps may be during a lesson, provide constructive feedback to one another, or consider what they need work on to be ready for the next lesson.
Student Work Sample
 
 
The sample slides show the progression of the mystery problem. We start by revealing and reviewing the self-assessment checklist, consider what we know about the topic and move on to the mystery. Within the mystery problem slide, students determine which student written solution from their math journals is correct by solving the problem in their teams. Students are free to select any manipulatives we have available during the mystery problem team time.
Freddy Esparza
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Third grade
Similar Strategies
Collaborative Student Groups
Buddy Reading

Buddy Reading is a research-based fluency strategy I use with readers who lack fluency. In this strategy, my students read aloud to each other. More fluent readers can be paired with less fluent readers, or students who read at the same level can be paired to together. Buddy Reading can be used with any book since students can take turns reading by sentence, paragraph, page, or chapter.

 
Feedback Systems
Blended Learning Data Share

This (bi-weekly/tri-weekly) strategy is used to incentivize, motivate, and support my students in truly taking ownership for their own learning. During each Blended Learning Data Chat, I recognize students who are consistently performing at the highest levels (Top-5) per program with a certificate and a small prize of their choice like a book, poster, or eraser. I then have the highest performing students come up so we can take a group selfie (with a selfie stick, of course), and then print each student a copy of the picture. The last part of the Blended Learning Data Chat is the recognition and celebration of our top performers who receive a certificate and take a picture to take home. They also receive a poster, eraser, book, or small prize of their choice for their effort and consistency. 

 
Instructional Closings
Math Journal

The Math Journal startegy is a closing sequence I use as an ongoing informal assessment at least twice a week. I typically collect at least five journals and respond back to students by writing positive praise and/or a question to have them answer about their answer. I will also conduct a quick visual check by walking around at the conclusion of a math journal session and place a sticker, grade, or smiley face on each student's journal. The Math Journal is a very open constructive tool students can use to develop their mathematical writing prowess and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. 

 
 
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload
details
close