I returned to the class where I sucked more than Maggie Simpson. I wrote about it here.
The highlights from yesterday’s do-over:
For the most part it went way better and the additional pieces I created to scaffold the lesson helped out.
Some students constructed the race route from Cuisenaire rods to conceptually see the street blocks (spatial temporal reasoning). This made the decomposition of 50 yards and 90 yards much easier.
Once students identified the dimensions of a single block, some figured out how many 30-yard and 25-yard segments made each girl’s race route. They found that Emma and Audrey had an equal number of 25 and 30 yard segments meaning they ran the same distance.
Me: They did run the same distance but how far did the run?
I was great to see the multiple ways that students solved the total distance. What was even better was how they added up (a la Number Talks). I assumed one student solved 10 x 30 by multiplying or “adding a zero” but I’m glad I asked.
Student: Well… three 30s is 90 and I have three 90s (pointing and circling the three groups of 90 on their paper). But I still have one 30 left over. So I gave one 10 to each 90 and that made three 100s.
One little guy couldn’t add up all the numbers so he skip counted by fives the whole way.
He allowed each square to represent 5-yards. Definitely not the most efficient strategy but I’ll take it. If this happens again I’d like to ask how he could be more efficient (combining two 5s to make a 10 or 20 squares makes 100).
Some students immediately went to paper and pencil to figure it out.
My concluding thoughts:
- There were A LOT of layers to this task which made it extremely problematic for me and the students. 2nd graders are just being introduced to 2-step word problems.
- The focus of this task shifted more towards perimeter which is a 3rd grade standard. I’m thinking it should be moved up a grade but I’m still chewing on this.
- My big take-away: I need to do a better job preparing to make the math accessible. This is especially the case when tackling more complex tasks.
Now don’t get me wrong, all was not fine and dandy during the sequel. I had about 5 students that were still completely lost.