Kara creates a classroom environment that centers around collaboration. During this activity, Kara has her students work with partners to solve problems. This collaborative work enables students to provide support to their peers, accept support from their peers, and provide feedback. Kara provides students with accountable talk stems as a reference and conferences with students to ensure this collaboration is effective. In addition, Kara gives out an Exceptional Collaborator Award, to students who are collaborating effectively. These strategies promote collaboration and support students to appropriately and effectively work with partners.
One method for supporting special education students with this strategy is to focus on one or two specific talk stems at a time. While variety is good, it can also be overwhelming for some studens. By having students focus on just one or two specific sentence starters, they are able to concentrate their energy on giving one solid piece of feedback rather than several pieces of mediocre feedback.
Students continued working with the same math partners as yesterday. Even though students were working on their own slides, they'd often check with their partner before taking a picture of their representation. Also, some students needed their partner's support to take a picture. One student would hold up the computer or fraction model while the other student took a picture.
Different Starting Points
While many students were ready to begin representing fractions using the 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, and 1/100 presentations, others were still finishing up their representations of fractions from yesterday (1/5, 1/6, and 1/7). Students were able to advance when they were ready!
Monitoring Student Understanding
Once students began working, I conferenced with every student. My goal was to support students by providing them with the opportunity to explain their thinking and by asking guiding questions. I also wanted to encourage students to construct viable arguments by using evidence to support their thinking (Math Practice 3).
While conferencing with this student, Representing 1:10 of 20 Pencils, I tried to help this student use prior knowledge (an understanding of 1/10) to complete the equation.
Tiffany splits the class in half. Half of the class receives problem A. The other half receives problem B. Students work independently for five minutes before partnering up with someone who has the same problem for 10 minutes. During this time, they give and get help on their problem. Then, students partner up with someone who had a different problem and they review and critique each other's work.