Reflection: Student Ownership Patterns in Subtraction - Section 2: Warm up


When I did this lesson again with a different group I felt like moving directly to the expressions at the bottom of the warm up was depriving my students of a little of the cognitive work. Instead, after doing the first part I asked them to come up with some expressions by asking them:

  • "What would that look like mathematically?" 
  • "write a mathematical expression that would show taking out hot cubes", for example
  • "What could Mathmaster Chef's recipe look like?"

They had a hard time getting started because they didn't know how many or what type of cubes to start with. I responded by asking:

  • "what might he have started with?"
  • "try it out and see if shows what you want to show."
  • "does it matter what he started with?" 

 This had two added benefits:

  1. We were able to use thier expressions instead of mine!
  2. My students never lost their connection to the context. 

Using their expressions increased engagement and, because they were created specifically to match the context they continued to relate it back to hot and cold cubes. As they were creating their expressions I was specifically looking for those that would match my criteria for the rest of the lesson so I could use them in place of my 'teacher created' expressions. I was specifically looking for problems that were taking away negatives from positives, for example, or taking away cold cubes when there were not cold cubes to take away.

  Making students do more of the thinking
  Student Ownership: Making students do more of the thinking
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Patterns in Subtraction

Unit 4: Operations with Integers
Lesson 14 of 24

Objective: SWBAT recognize equivalent addition and subtraction problems.

Big Idea: Students will begin to use equivalent addition as a tool.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, Operations and Expressions, subtracting integers, questioning, cognitive demand
  54 minutes
writing their own expressions
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