Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Integers in the Real World - Section 4: Independent Practice

 

Initially, there were students who were stumped by the novelty of Problem_5.  In terms of what the problem asks students to do, the difficulty level of this problem is not that high.  Some students were initially thrown by the format of the problem.

When I saw a student was a bit stuck, I made a few moves:

  1. I asked the students to tell me what the problem was asking them to do.  The vast majority of my students were able to make sense of the problem enough to know that they needed to plot points on the number line.
  2. I asked students what they've tried already.  If they don't have an answer to that, I'll give them a chance to try something.  I'll either say that I'll stand right here for a moment while they try something, or I'll give them a concrete point at which I'll return (ex - okay, you try something.  I'm going to peek at Juan's paper, and then I'm coming right back to you).
  3. I asked students why they didn't just plot 68 ÷ 17.  Students would tell me that this isn't a singular point on a number line.  I'd push back and ask them if they knew how to find the quotient for this problem.  That'd often be enough for the light bulb moment - oh, we need to evaluate each of these, before plotting them on the number line.  

Another tactic I used was to say something along the lines of "Hmm. Well, I know that d would be plotted right here (putting my finger on 3).  How'd I know that?" before strolling away casually.

Ultimately, when my students are stuck, I do not think that my role is to tell them the answer or to tell them exactly what they should do to find the answer.  My role is to gently nudge students towards a possible direction that will lead towards the solution, in other words:

  • to help them reflect on what they know
  • to help them reconsider what they have tried
  • to help them to better understand the structure of the problem
  • to help them brainstorm a different approach
  • to help them persevere

I don't want my students relying on me, whenever they are stuck.  

 

  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Novel Problems
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Integers in the Real World

Unit 3: Integers and Rational Numbers
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT use integers and number lines to represent quantities in real-world contexts.

Big Idea: Rational numbers and number lines can be used to represent real world situations.

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Subject(s):
Math, Number lines , Integers, negative number, positive number, rational numbers
  60 minutes
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