Whole-Group Instruction

Mystery Problem

This strategy is a biweekly problem solving investigation on recently learned content. Typically students will be given sample scanned answers that I have hand selected. These problems have been previously solved. Students meet on the carpet for the mystery problem reveal. We also cover what the goal of our session will be using a checklist/success rubric. They are then dismissed to investigate in teams. The students select manipulatives to discuss, develop an agreed upon idea, and critique which student(s) response they agree with/why. If a team finishes early they can work on they "Step ahead" which is harder differentiated task. Finally they use the checklist to self reflect if they were successful during the mystery problem session.

Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Lesson Plan
 
 
The Checklist/Rubric is an assessment tool students use to convey where they are with their task for the lesson or team task. The checklist has indicators students select from: starting to [understand], not yet, and Yes! The rubric is checked off as the team progresses through the lesson and at the conclusion they evaluate how they did. Using this rubric with student friendly language allows students to determine what there next steps may be during a lesson, provide constructive feedback to one another, or consider what they need work on to be ready for the next lesson.
Student Work Sample
 
 
The sample slides show the progression of the mystery problem. We start by revealing and reviewing the self-assessment checklist, consider what we know about the topic and move on to the mystery. Within the mystery problem slide, students determine which student written solution from their math journals is correct by solving the problem in their teams. Students are free to select any manipulatives we have available during the mystery problem team time.
Students In Action
 
 
Lesson Plan
 
 
The Checklist/Rubric is an assessment tool students use to convey where they are with their task for the lesson or team task. The checklist has indicators students select from: starting to [understand], not yet, and Yes! The rubric is checked off as the team progresses through the lesson and at the conclusion they evaluate how they did. Using this rubric with student friendly language allows students to determine what there next steps may be during a lesson, provide constructive feedback to one another, or consider what they need work on to be ready for the next lesson.
Student Work Sample
 
 
The sample slides show the progression of the mystery problem. We start by revealing and reviewing the self-assessment checklist, consider what we know about the topic and move on to the mystery. Within the mystery problem slide, students determine which student written solution from their math journals is correct by solving the problem in their teams. Students are free to select any manipulatives we have available during the mystery problem team time.
Freddy Esparza
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Third grade
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Blended Learning Treasure Wall Map

Each week the boat on our ‘Treasure BL Wall’ is moved across three islands until the boat reaches the final island where a treasure awaits the class with a hidden treasure. Once we have reached the treasure the hidden prize usually is something like a popcorn party, movie. pizza party, game time party, or class-selected incentive. This is the last part of the reflection. This part involves students deciding if we should or should not move our blended learning tracking tool towards our end goal. Our tracking tool in my class is the treasure blended learning wall, where students can see their progress and can view blended learning in a game-like way. The game involves students versus fictional characters on our map who are trying to get to the goal before we can. 

 
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Math Notebook Support on Computers

Each of my students is given the option to use different notepads, lined or grid paper, and scratch paper we have. This strategy is implemented to develop students' ability to convey understanding using models or ideas that they have when using our math software. Students in this clip are given ideas about how to express their thinking using our math strategies card along the computer. Students use the notepads or paper to refer back to their previous notes, and to also help one another by referring back to notes where applicable.  

 
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Rotational Model with Two Groups

We began to pilot blended learning three years ago starting with K-2. So our 3rd grade students have had three years of blended learning and we have a solidified understanding of what works. At Aspire Titan Academy, we use a rotational model in both math and ELA, which provides students 90 to 120 minutes of individual computer time daily. In both math and ELA, students are divided into two group, each spending half their time in teacher-led instruction and the remainder of working on the computers. While they’re on the computers, students use either DreamBox Learning (math), i-Ready or myON (reading), or an enrichment program, such as a typing software program.

Number of Students: 26 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; various other adults support during specific times (e.g., Blended Learning Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, etc.)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 120 minutes (Reading and Writing Block)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: MyOn; i-Ready

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Lenovo ThinkPads (1:2 ratio); SMARTboard; Document Camera; iPad (for teacher)

Key Features: station rotation; student agency

 
 
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