A. O. Fradkin used her students as manipulatives in a game of addends:
The classic mistake was for kids to forget to count themselves. Then I would ask them, â€œHow many kids are not hiding under the blanket?â€ When they would say the number of kids they saw, Iâ€™d follow up with, â€œSo youâ€™re hiding under the blanket?â€ And then theyâ€™d laugh.
Cathy Yenca put students to work once they finished their Desmos card sorts:
From here, it becomes a beautiful blur. Students continue to earn â€œexpertâ€ status and become â€œup for hireâ€, popping out of their seats to help a bud. At one point today, every struggling student had a proud one-on-one expert tutor, and I just stood there, scrolling through the teacher dashboard, with a silly grin on my face.
I’d love to know how we could employ experts without exacerbating status anxieties. Ideas?
Laurie Hailer offers a useful indicator of successful group work:
It looks like the past six weeks of having students sit in groups and emphasizing that they work together is possibly paying off. Today, instead of hearing, “I have a question,” I heard, “We have a question.”
David Sladkey switches from asking for questions to requiring questions:
My students were working independently on a few problem when I set the ground rules. I told my students that I was going to require them to ask a question when I was walking around to each person. I also said that if they did not have a math question, they could ask any other (appropriate) question that they liked. One way or another, they would have to ask me a question. It was amazing.
I also have kids sign up to be an expert during group work, indicating that they’re open to taking questions from other students. Sometimes, after a really good small group conference, I’ll ask a student to sign up to be an expert.