Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Who Makes Mistakes - Section 1: Warm Up


The student problems included both addition and subtraction questions. The first problem was, "I have 8 butterflies and 6 hearts, how many more butterflies do I have?" With the first problem a student asked, "do we add or subtract?" Another raised a hand and wanted to know what the number sentence was. 

I don't want to tell the students what to do but I don't want them to be overwhelmed either. I ask if anyone could use a picture to solve the problem. The question had included the words "how many more.." A child came up and drew the 8 butterflies and the 6 hearts. I asked them if we needed to know how many in all? No, well then what do we want to know? 

Here I am providing support navigating the language, while not providing either the answer or the number sentence. If I had given them 8 - 6, all of the students would be able to solve the problem. If I had given them 8 + 6 they also would have been able to get the answer. Instead I focused on supporting their mathematical reasoning, which is fundamental to all of their problem solving.

  Do We Add or Subtract
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Do We Add or Subtract
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Who Makes Mistakes

Unit 2: Adding and Subtracting the Basics
Lesson 2 of 18

Objective: SWBAT realize that mistakes in math are a part of the learning process.

Big Idea: Students in upper grades are asked to show their work. Second graders hide that work. This lesson encourages students to share their work, even without the correct answer.

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