Reflection: Complex Tasks Students As Teachers - Section 2: Teaching the Lesson


Being able to explain something is different from being able to just do it yourself. In today's lesson I am asking students to go beyond just doing the math, and instead explain how they are doing it. This is a skill that is stressed in the Common Core standards - MP3 says students should be able to "justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others". Students should be able to explain their thinking.

In this exercise, the students who usually do math quickly in their heads had the most trouble thinking about how to explain the math. They wanted to just do the problem but they didn't want to have to think about the how.

When teaching this lesson it is so important to stress the how. Explain to students that if you never explained the how, they would never understand what math is all about. You want them to take that same step and explain the how.  Answers to math problems, especially ones beyond single digit addition and subtraction rarely just drop into our heads. Instead our brain is doing something to find that answer, and it is our job to figure out what that something is. 


  Getting Beyond the Problem
  Complex Tasks: Getting Beyond the Problem
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Students As Teachers

Unit 12: More Complex Numbers and Operations
Lesson 2 of 10

Objective: 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.

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Math, Place Value, Number Sense and Operations, addition, subtraction, place value strategies, expanded notation
  60 minutes
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