Category Archives: 3-Act Tasks

3-Act Task: A 5th-grade lesson captured

A while back I shared a kindergarten lesson and I was really happy with the way it turned out.  The 5th-grade lesson below, not so much.  The students did great but there are definitely some things I need to improve. We recently finished up … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Estimation, Fractions, Intellectual Need, Math Progressions, Modeling, Teacher Content | 11 Comments

I’m Placing a Hit on the Pseudo-Context

This robs students of everything mathematics should be… The “real world” connection The step-by-step procedure Circle the numbers you need to solve the problem The pseudo-context word problem. Lesson 19.2 infers that this unit is front-end load with procedures and formulas … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Against the Norm, Cheese Mover, Intellectual Need, Measurement and Data, Modeling | 21 Comments

Get Your Model On: Modeling in the Elementary Grades

Dan Meyer’s work on mathematical modeling has been instrumental in shaping my own understanding.  I’m super thankful for Dan’s commitment to SMP #4 over the years. So when he recently posted that he was shifting gears, I was bummed.  It was like … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, 6-8, Intellectual Need, K-2, Making Math Accessible, Modeling, Patient Problem Solving, SMPs, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

When Student Thinking Hits the Wall: VNPS

First week back to school and I was chomping at the bit to begin working on my #1TMCthing. My quick backstory about Vertical-Non-Permanent-Surfaces (aka VNPS) I first found out about VNPS on Nathan Kraft’s blog which referred me to Alex Overwijk’s … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 3-Act Tasks, Making Math Accessible, Math Tools, Modeling, Number Sense, Patient Problem Solving, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Perplexity Drives Productivity

I think about the question mark every time I teach a lesson.  I’ve been so carefully to get to this point.  Yet sometimes my question mark comes from a path that looks like this. The opening part of the lesson is over … Continue reading

Posted in 3-Act Tasks, Intellectual Need, Modeling, Patient Problem Solving, Planning | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Thief in Teacher’s Clothes

I’ve stolen so many great ideas from the #mtbos and I have no idea what “teacher clothes” look like, but I know what educational awesomeness looks like…and it has inspired me over the past 2 years. If imitation is the sincerest form … Continue reading

Posted in 3-Act Tasks, Patient Problem Solving, Teaching in a Context | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Let the Good Struggle Begin (Georgia’s K-12 CCSS Math Units)

These are really exciting times to be a math educator in Georgia.  In March, a group of K-12 educators came together to Be Less Helpful and create more Open Middle tasks. Over the past 3 months we hunkered down in front … Continue reading

Posted in 3-Act Tasks, Patient Problem Solving, Teacher Content, Teaching in a Context | 5 Comments

Purposeful Numbers: Accessing Complex Tasks in Elementary School

When was the last time your students wanted to forego lunch so they could continue working through a task? When was the last time your students “high-fived” during math class?  Unfortunately, timed tests and the majority of elementary math curriculums do … Continue reading

Posted in 3-Act Tasks, Patient Problem Solving | 4 Comments

MTBos Mission #1: 3-Act Hanging by a Hair

I have been a huge fan of Dan Meyer and his 3-Act approach to problem solving http://blog.mrmeyer.com. Unfortunately, almost every 3-Act task I have come across on his website and over the web involves middle school standards concepts and beyond. … Continue reading

Posted in 3-Act Tasks, Patient Problem Solving | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments