Reflection: Complex Tasks Garden Design - Section 3: Problem solving

 

When I first decided to introduce consecutive sums, I didn't realize how many opportunities it held for deeper math investigations. I thought it might be an interesting sponge problem for my students who finished their work early. I quickly realized that it held so much potential to explore numerous avenues in math as well as help address knowledge gaps. I tried to keep this problem going on the side, but it kept creeping up to the forefront.

I highly recommend spending several days examining this problem at length. My students raised questions about divisibility and factoring, exponents and powers, and integers that helped us both remediate prior knowledge and extend our thinking beyond the standards. The best thing about this problem is that it engaged student interest in a purely mathematical exploration. Because they were asking the questions, they wanted to answer them. 

My students needed help getting started because they weren't used to this type of problem. Once they realized that they needed to try out a few numbers to get a feel for what was being asked, they were more comfortable.

I found the best use of my time with this problem, and problems like it, was to listen to student ideas and questions. This helped I helped me figure out which direction to guide them. them elaborate on and model their ideas by asking them to tell me more and show me what they meant. I brought their questions back to the class and asked them how we might investigate.

  Complex Tasks: This problem should be its own lesson!
Loading resource...
 

Garden Design

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 12 of 23

Objective: SWBAT use the area model to write two equivalent expressions using the distributive property.

Big Idea: Students will understand the form behind the distributive property and transition from the physical model to the mathematical model.

  Print Lesson
1 teacher likes this lesson
Subject(s):
Math, Expressions (Algebra), distributive property, area model
  54 minutes
diagram
 
1
2
3
Similar Lessons
 
Determining Solutions
6th Grade Math » Equations
Big Idea: How can we prove equality? In this lesson students determine if a given number is a solution to an equation. Skill mastery is a focus.
  Favorites(11)
  Resources(20)
New Haven, CT
Environment: Urban
Carla Seeger
 
Equivalent Numerical Expressions, Day 2 of 2
6th Grade Math » Intro to 6th Grade Math & Number Characteristics
Big Idea: How can you represent the area of a diagram using numerical expressions? Students connect their knowledge of area and equivalent expressions to the commutative and distributive properties for day 2 of this investigation.
  Favorites(10)
  Resources(35)
Somerville, MA
Environment: Urban
Andrea Palmer
 
Distributive Property
6th Grade Math » Properties of Math
Big Idea: Students will compare the distributive property to sending invitations at a birthday party.
  Favorites(14)
  Resources(13)
Brooklyn, NY
Environment: Urban
Ursula Lovings
 
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload
details
close