Fact Families

Time flies by with little regard to your desires to get things done, and I am three months behind on my blogging. I am going to start to remedy that situation with the change of the calendar.

This first example is from back in October of 2016, I will set the stage and then showcase the video below.

On this particular night, the two 3rd graders in our lives, had been working on their homework with my wife for over an hour, and everyone had exposed nerves when I showed up. The girls were frustrated and tired of the mathematics, my wife was feeling defeated at not finding a way to convey the ideas to the girls, and everyone was feeling pretty negative toward mathematics.

As I came into this situation from the perspective of we need to have some fun, and learn through exploration and their girls realizing they have the tools to make sense of the vexing problems. So we started with some work on visualizing the mathematics, utilizing the notice and wonder format to make some headway. Soon, the girls were feeling pretty good about themselves and their mathematics, and we pushed into the Fact Families, the very devil that had started this whole mess.

The girls went back and forth, each taking a turn and exploring as their understanding firmed up. The video showcases this entire process; we were using my iPad with Explain Everything to highlight the pieces. When we finished, the girls listened to pieces they created summarizing their thinking to each other, an added benefit of recording their thinking.

Love to hear your thoughts. Have you had similar experiences?

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