Monday, September 11, 2017

Math Monday

Thanks to friend and colleague Maria Caplin (@mariacaplin) for tagging me in a tweet with this video. She knows I am always looking for great math ideas and this one looked promising! (And how was it that I was not following Marilyn Burns (@mburnsmath) on Twitter before this--thanks again, Maria!)

The 1-10 Card Investigation on Marilyn Burns' blog looked like a fun thing to try have my 5th graders try.  So last week we gave it a try.  It was our best day of math so far this year.

Marilyn Burns 1-10 Card Investigation

There was so much about this investigation that was perfect for math, especially early in the school year:

  • The talk as students struggled with the problem was fabulous. Kids had a partner (one that they'd had for a few days in math) and this investigation invited purposeful collaboration. Kids were truly thinking together and we will build on that using this as an anchor.
  • No one was upset about making mistakes as they had been over the. last few weeks. This investigation pretty much assumes you are going to make mistakes-many mistakes.  We used this experience to talk about why these mistakes felt more comfortable for them than other mistakes that they'd gotten upset about previously.
  • Everyone wanted to figure this out on their own. They didn't want anyone to share their answer or strategy and they worked hard to think on their own. The fun was in the challenge. 
  • There was so much laughing in the room during this 30 minute investigation.  It sounded like a big party. Most of the laughing came when kids thought they had it but then an incorrect card showed up.  The sound in the room is what math should sound like every day and we talked about that feeling of joy you have when you are solving something challenging.

In the 30-40 minutes we worked, about 3 groups figured this out.  (2 could not remember exactly what they did to make it work but they knew they could quickly figure it out again.) Many asked about continuing during an indoor recess one day and some were going to play around with the cards at home. No one asked for the answer and all were excited to get back to it sometime soon.  I looked back at the investigation after we finished and Marilyn Burns also offers a few extensions.

There was so much good about this day in math--I highly recommend this math lesson for upper elementary classrooms.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray always a joy to learn along with you my friend.


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