Reflection: Coherence Accurate reporting - Section 3: Exploration


When I saw another teacher using this lesson in her class I realized that her students were having trouble with the way the task was worded and were having trouble engaging in a discussion about the math. I reworded the task so it was clearer to students how to present mathematical evidence for their choices. Her students were getting confused about the word 'claim', they weren't sure if it referred to the statements on the slips of paper or their choice about where to put them.

One thing that is critical to engaging my students in productive discussions is the sentence starters that I have taped to all of their desktops. These help students ask questions, provide feedback, and extend each others' thinking. In order to get the most out of their discussions in this lesson I have also included a more specific set of questions that will help students explain and justify their thinking. While circulating and checking in with each group I have these questions cut out on strips depending on where the group is in their discussion.

As students finish sorting the statements I give them questions A and B to help them justify their decision mathematically and to think about how each statement relates to the context.

  • A) How can you prove each statement belongs where it does?
  • B) How does each statement relate to the original survey results?

Several of my students used math  to explain without context and, even though the math was correct, their claim is incorrect. I might also ask them "Well, I see that the math is correct, but I don't understand why it proves your point".

Questions C and D engage students in a more active way asking:

  • C) Which of these statements would you use in a newspaper article and why?
  • D) Write another statement that accurately reports the survey results.

These questions can be handed out to groups who have progressed with the first two questions. Not all groups may get to these and that is okay. My hope is that these more specific questions will help my students have more productive discussions about the math and that, in addition to the table top starters, will prevent the talk from deteriorating.

  Coherence: Lesson modifications for future implementation
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Accurate reporting

Unit 7: Percent proportions
Lesson 3 of 16

Objective: SWBAT determine if mathematical claims using percents and ratios accurately report survey data.

Big Idea: Context provides scaffolding for verifying mathematical claims.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, percent, ratios, real world, critique claims, survey data, Group activity, pattern
  54 minutes
testing ideas in a group
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