I told them that the main part of this project that I wanted them to focus on (always good to keep a simple focus on complicated tasks, I have found) was that with their partner(s), they needed to come up with a plan. This task has many solutions...but the key direction is to "make as many cookies as possible"...so I wanted my students to really be thinking about what they could do to "test" if they could possibly make more cookies than their first attempt showed them. I also told them that they would really have to remember all they know about basic fractions AND solving problems with more than one step--and they were ready.
So they looked...
I really like my students to read these complicated tasks on their own to try to "make sense" of problems without me spoon-feeding. Depending on the student, I may restate the task, ask THEM to restate the task, or let them proceed and then adjust along the way with questions like, "Hmmm...does it SAY that you can do that?" Great opportunities for teaching mathematical thinking sometimes require students to make mistakes and adjust--and they learn quickly to dig in deeply to find information. It's too easy when the teacher tells them everything they need to know! This is also a great way to push students toward better perseverance; when everything is "coached", they don't learn those critical skills needed to push themselves, ask good questions, and have great "math talk" with each other. I heard some of the GREATEST "arguments" as they were working to make sense of this problem--and THAT is exciting math!
Interested in seeing more about this project?
Here is the discounted bundle of all my Thinker Tasks!