Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday: Engaging Students

My Students Won't Think:
A Look at Engaging Students in Higher Level Questioning in Math

Earlier this week I attended a workshop with the above title.  You never know how workshops are going to go.  Some of them are amazing and you walk away loaded with tons of ideas and pumped to put them to use as soon as possible.  And then there are those that seem like pure torture.  The presenter is reading their PowerPoint word for word - a PowerPoint on how reading a PowerPoint word for word is not a good teaching strategy. 

My Students Won't Think was one of those amazing workshops.  It was easily the best workshop I've attended in a long time.  I was writing ideas down all day and thinking about I couldn't wait to share some of the ideas with you.  

So today I want to share with you FIVE of the ideas I took away from this workshop.  Though this workshop was designed for 7-12 Math, I think these ideas can be used in other grade levels and in other content areas.

Let's get started.


"I Notice, I Wonder"

Present you class with a problem.  Instead of asking them to come up with an answer or solution, ask them to make note of what they notice and what they wonder.  This takes the pressure off the students and allows every single student to participate.  

I don't know about you, but when I give my students a word problem they tend to pull out numbers and do a random operation.  They don't want to take the time to read the problem and think about what the problem is asking them.  

With "I Notice, I Wonder" I can give my students a word problem with blanks in place of the numbers.  Take away their ability to just guess at the correct operation.  Given the word problem without numbers, students will record what they notice as well as what the wonder.  

I believe this is really going to help my students become better problem solvers.

Now I'm sure I did a horrible job of explaining this concept so if you want to read more about "I Notice, I Wonder" just click here.


"My Favorite No"

This idea is a great way to address those common misconceptions.  It was introduced to me as a bell ringer.  Your students all solve the same problem.  As they finish and turn them into you, you are looking over them and looking for those common misconceptions.  

You then share some of those misconceptions with the class.  You call it your favorite no.  Ask students "Why is it my favorite?  What did they do right?"  

Then ask "What do they need to work on?"  In other words why is it a no?


"Always, Sometimes, Never"

We were given 12 cards that we had to sort into three categories: Always True, Sometimes True, Never True.  We had to explain why it fit into the category out to the side of the card.  On the Sometimes True we gave examples of when it was true.  We were supposed to also do examples of when it was false, but my partner and I somehow missed those instructions. :)

I loved all the thinking that went into this assignment.  It really solidifies understanding of these concepts.  


"Flip the Question"

I have seen this idea before but for some reason I saw it differently this week.  

Instead of giving students a question and asking for answer, give them an answer and ask for a question.  That seems simple, but I felt like the example he gave us was a bit more complex.

Write an equation with more than one step that has 8 has a solution.


Write 3 expressions equivalent to x + 2.


Koplinksy DOK Knowledge

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