Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Spots or Not? - Section 2: Warm up


In the beginning of the year my students are very fearful of making mistakes. They think it means they are stupid and incapable of understanding and doing math. I want them to feel that mistakes is just a normal part of learning and I want them to have the confidence to persevere. 

In order to change their mindset about mistakes I really had to be aware of my own response to mistakes. Even if I was stressed by time pressure I needed to convey calm and patience. I had to be careful not to give away any feelings of concern, surprise, or judgement in my facial expression or voice. In order to let them work through their confusion and discover their mistakes I have to give them the opportunity to do so and jump in to correct them. It takes some painful practice to become comfortable providing wait and think time.

I have found that keeping them talking is a great way for them to reflect on and correct their thinking. I ask a lot of questions rather than give them answers. Sometimes just repeating or paraphrasing their statements back to them is enough to get them to hear their mistake or figure out a next step. This is the opposite of a viscous cycle, because after they have corrected their own mistake once they gain more confidence to persevere the next time they get stuck. They realize that the answer did not come from the teacher, it came from them!

  Discourse and Questioning: Responding to mistakes
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Spots or Not?

Unit 7: Percent proportions
Lesson 6 of 16

Objective: SWBAT write ratios and percents to represent a set of data.

Big Idea: It is important for students to define what the numbers represent in order to write accurate ratios and percents.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, percent, comparison, Group activity, ratios, pattern
  54 minutes
common error defining terms
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