Students As Teachers

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SWBAT demonstrate their use of mathematical processes of addition and subtraction.

Big Idea

Students love to play teacher, so here we give them a chance to teach each other how to solve addition and subtraction problems.

Getting Excited

10 minutes

To generate excitement for this lesson, I use a BrainPop Junior or youtube clip of kids talking about math. I pick a clip (or one from a former class of your own works well too) that shows kids explaining how they solved math problems.

After watching the film I ask students what they notice about the kids in the video? What were they doing? How did they show what they knew about math?

I want to generate ideas about having manipulatives, showing things in steps, explaining each step, writing out the different steps that are happening, etc. 

I make a list on the board of the things that students noticed in the clips. 

Now I introduce the idea that students are going to make their own videos about solving math problems in small groups. This will be a two-part lesson. I want students to have time to plan their lesson, and then have time to actually film the lesson. I know that trying to do all this in one day will make it difficult for students to really take the time to plan their lessons. 

On Day 1, I present students with several math problems to solve. These problems are based on the assessment of understandings that I do at the end of each unit.  I ask students to think of 2 or more ways to solve the problem. I tell them they will think of how they will use pictures, objects, etc. to show the problem, any tool (other than a calculator) they can use, and the steps they would use to solve the problem. I tell them that they will work with several other students to design a presentation, create any materials or posters they will need.

After they have practiced and created the materials, on Day 2 we will film the lessons to share.

Teaching the Lesson

40 minutes

I have divided my students into 4 groups based on needs identified in the previous lesson. One group is still struggling with understanding the value of digits in 3-digit numbers. Another group (broken into 2 groups for this activity) is able to demonstrate an understanding of place value, but is not applying that knowledge to solving addition and subtraction problems with 2 or more digits, and the last group understands place value and uses that knowledge in solving problems.

I remind students that this is a two day lesson. Today their job is to solve the problem and plan out how they will teach it to others. Tomorrow they will have the time to film the lessons and then we can play them back for each other.

I give each group a task to explain based on their need to work with certain concepts. I provide a variety of materials for students to use. I tell them that they may also use any math tools in their suitcases, except for calculators. MP5 states that students should use math tools appropriately so I do not tell students what materials to use, but instead encourage them to choose the appropriate materials.  I ask them to first think of how they will solve the problem, what materials they will use, what steps they will take, and finally, who will be filmed or how will the filming be done.

Students fill in the project list with their ideas as they solve the math problem. Students work to decide how they will film their explanations. They decide which of their problems they will share with others. They practice for filming the next day.


10 minutes

At the end of the lesson, I invite students to come to the rug. I ask them to share out any things that went well in their groups, and any things that were difficult. I remind them that they do not need to use names, but they can tell us whether everyone in their group contributed (not who didn't) as an example. 

I close by asking if there are things that groups still need before tomorrow's filming.