OK...today was a little fun in math. A lot, maybe.
I stumped my students. Yep. All of them.
I have a huge range of skill levels in my class--from SUBSTANTIALLY below grade level to top of the heap...and today, everyone was a bit stymied. I loved it!
In my constant fear of my students becoming "box filler in-ers", I am always looking for ways to get my students to think outside the box and to present information in new ways. Today's problem was one of my "perseverance problems"--but, to be honest, I thought it would be a decent warm up. Not too challenging that it would eat up too much time because I did have another lesson to teach. Well...I had a little surprise waiting for me!
The standards for mathematical practice are clear--the "work" of math is just as important as the skills in math, and today made that very clear to me. The first standard, "Makes Sense of Problems and Perseveres in Solving Them" is often interpreted by teachers as "Will my students keep trying?"--which, is--of course--a critical part of "perseverance". However--the main gist of this standard focuses on the FIRST part--the "make sense of problems". The standard is written as follows:
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
Some TRULY persevered--AND made sense of the problem. For others, we have some work to do!
So...as I plow through the next few weeks trying to finish up some work with fractions and division--I need to keep remembering the process. The truly "deep" understanding comes with struggle, with questions, and with time.