This year, our math team is taking a focused look at exploring student’s numerical literacy, realizing that even in grade 9, students frequently struggle with foundational concepts such as number lines, fractions and ratios.
One of the ways our math team is accomplishing this is by taking a more in-depth approach and providing time for students to discuss, debate, and converse about their mathematical thinking as they work through different problems.
In this video you will see a grade 6 class working through a pre-algebraic problem. The core issue came down to an understanding of the ‘equal’ sign in equations, which the teacher discusses at the beginning. Students were first given the question and allowed to answer on their own. The teacher then paired-up the students, putting a student with the correct answer, with a student with an incorrect answer. In doing this the teacher did not communicate to the partners which of the answers was correct. The students then had the opportunity to discuss their solutions in depth, working through their thinking with a student who had a different answer.
After the partner time, the class regathered for additional discussion and deliberation .