2017-05-18 – Day 8 – Rich Task Routines & Fraction Splats

One of the charges my district has taken on requires that we work toward improving math instruction at the 5th-grade level – this grade level has been identified as a severe turning point in the performance and mindset of learners toward mathematics. We are working on ways that will improve instruction and learning experiences so students feel differently about mathematics and themselves.

One of our approaches is incorporating rich tasks for our students to access. The Rich Tasks provide both a better math experience and promote a growth mindset in mathematics.

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The process I am testing is trying to tease out if the students can make connections between their thinking and others. In addition to sharing their thinking and being able to perform some complex mental arithmetic with everyones’ favorite F-word, fractions. I was gifted with two extraordinary teachers that let me try this approach with the amazing Steve Wyborney’s Fraction Splats. I have had huge success in grades 3 through 12 with the fraction splits, so I knew that wouldn’t be an issue, but the questioning and format may be a challenge. The results shown in the video below show the comparison of previous Rich Task Routines with the new version. What do you #NoticeWonder?

Overall, the day felt very successful, the students seemed highly engaged in their learning, and sharing out their thinking. The valuable conversations and having students point to and demonstrate their thinking is huge. The connecting to other people’s thinking may need some direct instruction on, and multiple reps before students are reliably able to tackle this piece.

 

2 thoughts on “2017-05-18 – Day 8 – Rich Task Routines & Fraction Splats

  1. I have not done so in a while, but I have used Venn diagrams when comparing and contrasting strategies. I have found that using these when students are learning how to connect their thinking to others. I loved doing this with my upper elementary students. I love that you are teaching and influencing students at this age! Their MS teachers are going to love you!

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    1. Venn diagrams are so often a forgotten gem of thinking. I, too, am guilty of forgetting to use them more regularly. And I love your comment, I teach both MS and HS so getting my chance to influence their mathematical mindsets early is so key to their development. Thanks for commenting.

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