Reflection: Perseverance Situations that sometimes, always, or never happen. - Section 1: Launch (Exploration task)

Too often, students help other students figure out solutions to problems or tasks given in the classroom, thinking that they indeed are helping their friends, when in fact, they are hindering the possibilities of productive struggle, and hence, learning on the part of the recipient student. Teachers must be aware of this early in the year and try to create, from the very beginning, a culture of independent perseverance and responsibility for learning. We need to create conscience in the more advanced students so that they understand that in reality they may be doing more harm than good when providing answers or giving too much information to their partner. We also need students to take responsibility for their learning so that they not ask, nor allow their friends to give them answers, because they are aware that this will not help them.

One way of starting this is by actually having a discussion with the class about the importance and differences of group work and working independently. They need to be told that there are times when striving to find, and attaining, a difficult solution to a problem on your own is only helpful, and learning takes place in the process. Getting answers from someone else all the time is unwise. Another way of helping students become responsible learners is giving them more choices. This helps students feel in control over their thinking and learning. Choices of more than one problem to solve, or more than one way of solving a problem is a good strategy.

Allowing students to re-submit work helps tremendously also. Students know it's not do or die. They know they will have a chance to correct their mistakes if they make any, and learn from these. The students soon realize that the teacher is there to help them learn, and not merely to grade them and go on to the next topic.

Allowing others to work independently
Perseverance: Allowing others to work independently

Situations that sometimes, always, or never happen.

Unit 2: Solving Linear Equations
Lesson 8 of 10

Big Idea: Exploring ideas or relating ideas to real life situations improves learning. Students in this lesson learn to recognize the nature of the solutions to an equation.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Algebra, Linear and Nonlinear Equations, Solving equations, Infinite number of solutions, no solutions, Equations with no solutions, 8th grade math
55 minutes

Mauricio Beltre

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