Something to Talk About

It’s April.  Have you heard of April?  It’s that month of the school year where all students can see is the finish line, and all teachers can do is expend a never-ending amount of energy trying to motivate students in these final weeks before summer.  I mean, come on kids, it’s not even May yet!  There aren’t even leaves or goslings or temperatures consistently above 40 for goodness sake! There is so much learning to be done before we send you off into the summer sun!

Anyway, I haven’t done a Number Talk in a couple of weeks because of spring break and MCA testing.  I decided to begin anew today, and this was a treat.  We reviewed the norms, fired up our brains and got to work on 250 x 28.  When I asked for students to volunteer their answer, I got 4 incorrect answers along with the correct answer.  Second period, much to my delight, they contributed four different incorrect answers as well as the correct one.  Students who are hesitant to share were willing to explain their strategies to the class.  With their permission, I’ve included their names with their strategies:

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These 9th graders are doing a spectacular job of working together in cooperative groups as well.  When I give them something to discuss with respect to probability and statistics, they really challenge one another respectfully and support one another appropriately.  This doesn’t necessarily happen naturally but is instead developed through consistent expectations of shared group responsibilities.  Overall, it’s a tough time of year to be a high school student with summer looming.  I’m very proud of the progress my students have made thus far this trimester in making sense of all the data around them.


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