Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Let's Have a Math Fight!

We finished our Spring Break Cause and effect writing pieces and I must say I am impressed in how they have turned out! My students took this very seriously and were willing to go back and revise/edit their work to make it the best possible for the time they were given. The presentations look great and the extra time spent yesterday was still worth it.

Let's Have a Math Fight!
This  afternoon my students got into a really interesting math fight during our number talk.  Here is the initial problem that they were thinking about:

Many went directly to the thought of starting the shopping at 10:05 a.m. and ending at 12:30p.m., making the shopping trip last 2 hours and 25 minutes.

The conversation really heated up when a third student interjected with:
" The real shopping didn't begin until 10:30 a.m., because picking up a pair of cleats does not count as shopping."

She desperately wanted to take off the extra 25 minutes, but the majority of the class decided to interpret the cleats being picked up as a part of the shopping experience.

Reasonableness of an answer
The idea of the elapsed time answer being reasonable or not also came about, with the idea that:

"No, this is not a reasonable answer because it doesn't take anyone over 2 hours to buy one pair of new shorts. That's stupid."

After a few giggles (and a quick talk about kind language) the math fight continued...

A few defended Marcus's long trip by saying that maybe he stopped to look at other stores or maybe "he stopped to get something to eat at the food court. "

In this short 10 minute number talk activity, Marcus was becoming a real person and  the words on the screen a real-world problem for students to solve.

After these thoughts, a few started to question the answer of 2 hours and 25 minutes because the problem doesn't have any information about how far the outlet mall is from Marcus's house or about the traffic situation on his way home from the mall. "Part of the time could have been in traffic,"  was the response given by one student.

I was blown away by the thinking and all of the connections my 3rd graders were making to the real world.  There is often so much that is hidden in our curriculum that my students are starting to uncover. It is absolutely wonderful to witness.

At the end of the 10 minutes, it was decided that the question should be rewritten to provide more information.

What's the last math fight your students had in the classroom? What was the consensus at the end? Share in the comments below.  

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Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!

Welcome to Kid's Math Talk, LLC!
My name is Desiree and I am super passionate about math education and best practices for students and their teachers. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


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