Reflection: Modeling Introduction to Four Addends - Section 2: Introduction to New Material


During this section of the lesson, I use one of my favorite mathematical teaching tools: the strategy spotlight.  In my teaching, I encourage my students to find, use and evaluate their own mathematical strategies so that they can internalize the concepts and use a strategy that works best for their thinking and fits with their developmental progress in mathematics. However, when I am introducing a new skill like I do in this lesson I sometimes share a "strategy spotlight" where I model a strategy that a student used or that I might use.  This allows me to share a new strategy with my students while still giving them a chance to choose and use the strategy that works best for them.  When I do a strategy spotlight, I make sure to clearly model the steps so that students can choose my strategy and execute that strategy accurately.  I also make sure that students know that my strategy is only one of many and they do not need to use this strategy. When I am finished, I ask my students to evaluate the strategy by asking them questions like : (1) How is this strategy similar or different from the strategies you used, (2) How does this strategy help us solve the problem accurately?  (3) What's another way I could solve this problem?  In this lesson when I modeled a strategy, only about 1/3 of my class decided that strategy was best for them when working on the guided practice. 

Mathematical Practice standard 1 (MP1) asks students to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.  By giving students the chance to develop and share their own strategies, I am allowing them to make sense of problems on their own terms.  Introducing a new strategy via a strategy spotlight simply gives students more tools in their mathematical toolkit. 


  Teacher Tool: Strategy Spotlight
  Modeling: Teacher Tool: Strategy Spotlight
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Introduction to Four Addends

Unit 3: Adding Four Addends
Lesson 1 of 3

Objective: SWBAT add four two-digit numbers to find a sum.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students identify strategies to add four two-digit numbers together.

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