Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Number Puzzles - Section 4: Independent Practice


This lesson allowed for some very extensive discussion about where numbers belong. Number puzzles can be very difficult for young children because they push them to not just say: "What number goes in the blank?", but rather, "What number goes in this space and why does it have to go there?" This is why I did the number puzzles in partners. Students often disagreed with each other and had to decide who was right and WHY he/she was right. This was a great process to see, as it really hits on the Common Core standards for mathematical practice. A couple that immediately come to mind are:

  • Look for and make use of structure: Students have to think through what the patterns on the chart are and then decide which patterns lend themselves to helping them complete the task. 
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others: Because there is a lot of discussion involved in completing this task in partners, students have to be able to explain his/her own thinking and think critically about another person's argument.


A quick dialogue of students is listed below. I feel like these students embodied how I wanted them to discuss their work, and I ended up using it for an exemplar with the whole class.

Me: How are you figuring out where the pieces go?

K: This one goes here because it has 1 at the top.

Me: How will figure out what piece to put down next?

A: 7 goes here.

Me: Why?

A: Because I counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Me: Which piece do you need to choose? (Students look through pieces until they find one with 7 and then figure out how the piece fits with the others)

Me: How are you sure that piece is correct?

K: You can count it and it is right. See? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

  Not just WHAT, but WHY
  Discourse and Questioning: Not just WHAT, but WHY
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Number Puzzles

Unit 2: Count to 100 Every Day!
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: SWBAT apply their understanding of patterns on the hundreds chart and the counting sequence to create a number chart.

Big Idea: Students piece together a broken hundreds chart in this hands on, interactive activity!

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