Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Observing Student Problem Solving
|Introduction | Building Staircases | Student Work #1 | Problem Reflection #1 | Student Work #2 | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal|
Li and Tyler have begun to work on the problem. They are using the squares and have made this diagram and table. The teacher begins by asking them questions to see if they have understood the problem and how close they are to making a strategy.
Ms. Nguyen: So tell me what you've found. Can you explain your diagram to me?
Ms. Nguyen: What do you mean?
Ms. Nguyen: (pointing to the last figure) You mean this one?
Ms. Nguyen: That last one looks good. Is the one you marked out part of the pattern, though? Tyler, you mentioned it would be later. But how would you get to that top step?
Li: Oh, it doesn't fit. It's adding two, and you only add one.
Tyler: Well, the bottom is the number of steps, and the top is the blocks you need. Oh, but it's still got 11 in it. That's not right. It should be 10.
Ms. Nguyen: So should we try one more case?
Ms. Nguyen: What's your reasoning about that?
Ms. Nguyen: Tyler, can you draw what you mean?
Tyler adds lines to the drawing to show want he means and numbers the final figure.
Li: That's great. I can definitely see a pattern now.
Ms. Nguyen: Can you put it into words?
Ms. Nguyen: Is that enough for me to know how to build the staircase? I'm not sure what "one more" or "last" means?
Ms. Nguyen: This is good work. What would we have to do for 50 then?
Ms. Nguyen: Well, you've found a pattern and a method, and this is good. But remember what we learned with previous rules: There is sometimes more than one way to make a rule.
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