Reflection: Student Led Inquiry The secret side of ratios - Section 3: Exploration


Getting my students to start talking to and asking each other about their work required us all to shift our thinking about our roles.

  • My job was no longer to give direct step-by-step instruction, monitor their process, answer all their questions, and confirm or correct their final answer.
  • Their job was no longer to listen quietly to me, follow my detailed instructions to the letter, mimic my demonstrated actions, and ask for my approval. 

I had to work at setting them up to have a conversation. When one of my math family groups calls me over with a question my job is to get them started talking to each other and then walk away. I may spend time asking questions that will help clarify and focus their discussion like:

  • "what do you mean by...?"
  • "so, are you asking/wondering...?"
  • "so, you are noticing...."
  • "the thing you seem to be confused about is...."

Or, I may just revoice their own ideas to the group and ask them to respond. Sometimes my job is to help my students articulate their thinking so that their "math family group" can understand and respond.

When they come to see each other as resources I am no longer the "giver of all knowledge" and it opens up more opportunities for differentiated peer intervention.

  Student Led Inquiry: The teacher's role in peer-to-peer discussions
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The secret side of ratios

Unit 5: Writing and comparing ratios
Lesson 5 of 14

Objective: SWBAT define the terms of a ratio in order to make comparisons of the same two quantities in different ways.

Big Idea: A single set of data can be represented by several ratios.

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Math, Number Sense and Operations, part to whole, hidden information, ratios, Cooperative Groups, part to part, pattern
  54 minutes
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