Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Accurate reporting - Section 3: Exploration


Many of my lessons including this one really benefit from eliciting multiple methods from my students. Kids will have different ways of thinking about ratios and inviting multiple methods sends the message that their thinking is valuable and they have something to contribute to the learning. Students can then be asked to make connections between their different ways of thinking to help them gain deeper understanding of the mathematics.

One student shared a very concrete strategy for explaining how he knew 3 tenths was equivalent to 30 students prefering Ms. Burnison, while 70 preferred another teacher. He explained that while 3 out of every ten students prefered Ms. Burnison, if that happened ten times it would be 30 out of 100, which were consistent with the results of the survey. This level of thinking was accessible to most of my students and could then be used to help them understand more abstract reasoning in another method by asking comparison questions.

  • "how can this strategy help us understand this [other] strategy?"
  • "how are these two strategies similar?"
  • "how does one strategy compare to another?"

Another way to use multiple methods in this lesson is to pick out a specific strategy that has been shared and ask "how can this strategy help us decide if some of the other statements do or do not accurately report the survey results?" I find this particularly useful if there is a specific statement that my students are unsure about or if there is a specific statement that they are getting wrong. In my class the most common mistake was thinking that "3% of the students prefer Ms. Burnison" was true. I could have used the above students method and asked how it could help us decide.

  Discourse and Questioning: Multiple methods & connection making
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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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