Mary Walter Elementary School Math Workshop by Beth Buchholz & Kateri Thunder
To help students become stronger learners and mathematicians by thinking deeply and flexibly about authentic problems that make connections across the curriculum
Why a Math Workshop?
Predictable yet flexible structure
Time for students to work and revise
Sharing with community of learners
A Math Task: The Neighborhood Problem
Things to Consider When Choosing a Task
Plan a Math Task
Throughout - Sharing Student Work
Alex revises his work multiple times To learn alternate strategies from his peers as students share during lessons over multiple days focused on revision
Alex struggles to communicate The problem: The Chicago Bulls starting line-up jogs out onto the court. Harper, Pippen, Rodman, Longley, and Jordan each slap high fives to each other player. How many high-fives are given in all? Alex Draft #1
Revision after group share Alex Draft #2
Revision after focused conversation Alex Draft #3
Making math connections The NEW problem: “ Groups of campers are going to island. On the first day two people went over and one decided it was to cold and came back. One the second day, four went over and two came back. On the third day six went over to the island and three camp back. If this pattern continues, how many people would be on the island at the end of seven days?”
Applying strategy in new context Third draft of previous problem First draft of NEW problem
Our Math Workshop
The Neighborhood Problem
The original task from Investigations
The REVISED task
Task 1: Building a Neighborhood
You are an architect . The city of Charlottesville is planning a new neighborhood. The city planners want to have space for exactly 60 families. The city of Charlottesville wants all the buildings to be the same size. You have been asked to find all the possible designs for the neighborhood.
Task 1: Building a Neighborhood
Use the multi-link cubes to help you find all the possible ways to create housing for 60 families. Only one family can fit in each cube. You may stack cubes on top of each other to make tall apartment buildings. Remember, for each possible design each apartment building must be the same height. The design must hold exactly 60 families. How can you make sure that you have found all the possible ways? The city of Charlottesville wants a report of ALL the possible solutions at their next meeting. You should record each design in your notebook using words, pictures, and numbers.
Task 2: Make a recommendation
The city planners now want your recommendation for the best possible design of the neighborhood. Remember, each building must be exactly the same height. Which building size do you think is the best? You should use the grid of the neighborhood to create your design. One box on the grid is the size of one multi-link cube. Don’t forget to include all the things besides buildings that a neighborhood needs.
Below are some suggestions from the families that will be living in the neighborhood:
“ I am a mom. I have a large family and I want my children to have lots of room to ride their bikes, play baseball, and go swimming.”
“ I want to have my own backyard where my dog can run around.”
“ I want to live next to a large park with lots of trees so I can go hiking and mountain biking.”
Task 3: Write a persuasive speech
After you design your neighborhood, you need to write a speech justifying your design to the Charlottesville city council. They will want to know why you chose the buildings size and locations. Also, they will look at how well your neighborhood will work for the families that will be moving in.
Task 4: Revising
When we observe, talk, and learn about other’s ideas it can help us rethink and revise our own ideas to make them even better.
A few things I’d like to revise about my neighborhood:
Beth’s Class & the Neighborhood Problem Here’s what Beth’s class did.
Lyndsey uses pictures and words
Anand uses multiplication Anand noticed that you can “reverse” the numbers
Anand’s design and map key
Eric uses addition & multiplication
Eric notices a pattern Eric organized his findings using a chart based on “opposites”
Eric writes to explain his choices
Isaac’s design and map key
Isaac explains his choices
Isaac revises his design
Choosing a Math Task
How does this problem challenge students on various levels?
How might the authentic context engage and motivate students in deep problem-solving?
What mathematics concepts and skills do students engage in through this problem?
How does this problem connect to concepts and skills across the curriculum (reading, writing, oral language, social studies, science, etc.)?
What questions could you ask to extend the problem for students who finish early?
How does this task fit into your pacing guide? SOLs?
Henry revises his quarterly math prompt To clearly and efficiently communicate his strategy after peer feedback and self assessment based on a rubric
Henry’s first draft
Henry uses rubric to assess work
“ How do you know, or how will others know, if you have done quality math thinking and recording on this problem?”
Peer & Self Feedback
Henry revises based on rubric Draft #1 Draft #2
Work for 30 minutes (Individually or with partners).
Share with the whole group for 30 minutes.
Find one problem and develop a plan.
You might revise the problem.
Consider the planning questions we explored through the Neighborhood Problem.
To clarify his thinking and to make connections between concepts in response to his peers’ and his own thinking
Jeremy revises and continues his thinking about odd & even numbers