Today's class is a workshop period. There is a lot of work to do, and I want to make sure that all students have as much time as possible to do it. All students still have some questions about Part 2c of the Number Line Project. When that's done, many need some help with either finishing Part 1b or making Part 1c perfect. As such, there are a variety of kinds of conversations that I might have with the kids. As I describe in my video narrative for the next section, today I can count on discussing the approximate locations of irrational numbers (on Part 1c) and strategies for describing patterns (on Part 2c) with students.
So after reminding everyone that the project is due on Friday, and announcing that tomorrow I'll offer a second chance on the Patterns Quiz that students first tried two weeks ago, I say, "This time is yours to work on whatever you want to work on. I'll be coming around to check in at each table," and we set to task.
Here is a video about the workshop period, in which I describe why I love classes like these, what I expect to talk about today, and how I like to refer students to each other as experts.
Here's what students may be working on today - ideally, by the start of tomorrow's class tomorrow, all of this is done (links are to the lessons in which I introduce each part of the project):
In any initiative, the debrief is very important. Students had a lot of freedom during today's lesson. At the end of the class, I ask for everyone's attention. I congratulate them on a job well done, then I name the specific things I saw people doing that I think were good moves. I call out students my name, and I make sure to emphasize the hard work and habits of scholarship and collaboration that I observed. Students referencing notes, giving themselves a quiet place to think hard, helping each other, asking good questions, comparing one part of the project to another to see if that helps, whatever I saw, I call it out. By being specific and thoughtful, I try to ensure that I'm not just showering kids with false praise. I want them to know that I mean it. In order to model "Appreciations" for the next time we circle up, I say how much I appreciate the things I saw.