Reflection: Staircase of Complexity In a Heartbeat! Connecting Informational Text to Multistep Word Problems - Section 3: Animal Hearts


My students used iTunes U for the first time in math today. This lesson rocked! It pushed levels of independence that most students could handle. I had a few that were off track and the small group eventually went to their desks to work independently.

I had  great stuff happen in here today that I didn't plan on! There was rich conversation about how challenging it was and that they had to think. I heard noise like "Oh! I have to multiply by 30! That's a half hour!" and, "Wow, we have to think!" I got surprised because I expected that they would just divide the total beats from the hour and divide it by 2 to solve that problem. Nope. Everyone divided the 60 minutes first and multiplied. One student did both to make sure she was right.

Rigor, rigor, rigor! I was so excited to teach this today because I saw the level of thinking that CCSS expects coming from the majority of my students, honestly for the first time. I have designed rigorous lessons in the past, but have  not seen the fruits of it until now. It clearly says to me that this hard work is paying off.

I also noticed students discussing that there was more than one way to solve problems. One student was working on the challenge problem about how many times our heart beats in 24 hours. I was thinking that we needed to use the total beats from the hour and multiply by 24 hours. She figured out how many minutes in 24 hours and multiplied that by 72 beats. Consequently, after we discussed both of our methods, we discovered that both equations equaled each other! I tried to find a hole in what she was saying and could not, even though I was planning on students figuring it out my way.

The best things that came from the first part of this lesson were: 1. Students again discover the reason for equations. 2. They discovered there was more than one way to figure out the answer.

Most students had to take home the graph and finish the other sections of the lesson. I had them finish it all up for homework.

  Amazing things were going on!!!
  Staircase of Complexity: Amazing things were going on!!!
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In a Heartbeat! Connecting Informational Text to Multistep Word Problems

Unit 9: Division Unit
Lesson 14 of 21

Objective: SWBAT glean mathematical data from informational text to solve multi-step word problems, compare and interpret data and create a graph.

Big Idea: Students explore two articles about hearts to solve word problems, develop their critical thinking while graphing, choosing recipes and having a lot of fun!

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