Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Three Part Math Lesson

A big part of our classroom this year will be the Three Part Math Lesson. Although the "three parts" may not always be obvious to the students, and may even sometimes be spread over a couple of days, the format of the lesson is consistent.

1. Minds On

During the "minds on" part of the lesson we are getting cognitively prepared for the lesson by thinking about ideas and strategies that we have already learned and used. Sometimes this means just talking about our previous lesson, or even strategies that they learned in a previous grade that relate to the expectations we are focusing on. It might also involve us solving a math problem together as a class. This part of the lesson usually takes place as a whole group.

2. Working On It

When we are "working on it", we are putting the strategies that we have learned into action. This will often occur while working collaboratively in small groups or with a partner. Students develop independence by choosing the methods, strategies and math tools that they feel are necessary for solving the problem rather than being "told how to do it" by the teacher. While working with the other students, they are encouraged to use accountable talk that is focused on the task, engage in active listening when others are sharing their ideas and contribute their own ideas to help enhance the learning opportunities for all.

3. Consolidation and Practice

During this final part of the lesson we gather for a whole class discussion so the students can hear the strategies and ideas that other groups may have used to solve the problem. This coordinated sharing allows the students to hear and analyze their classmates' mathematical thinking and compare it with their own, hopefully learning new strategies that they can then put into practice when working independently. 

Following consolidation, the students are given the opportunity to independently practice similar tasks and problems using the variety of methods and strategies discussed during our consolitation. 

Yesterday we were working on describing geometric figures.

We are learning how to describe figures (shapes) 
using appropriate math terminology (good math words).