We began by revisiting the “brownie” homework from Tuesday night, which called for us to critique student responses in light of “the whole.” This made us sensitive to the issue accounting for “the whole” as we worked through the Garden Plot and Land-Tax Task to illuminate “the rules” for multiplying fractional quantities. In the end we came to the following conclusions (among others):
- The array and area models introduced in grade 3 directly impact how one can understand fraction multiplication in grade 4.
- The numerator functions to count the “number of bits” and the denominator indicates size of the “bits” in terms of “how many bits to make 1 unit” (which may or may not be the total number of bits shown). Unlike the brownie problem, “the whole” is not arbitrarily chosen but rather is a consequence of “the unit” for each of the factors.
After lunch, we first created a list with this sentence stem: To support productive struggle, teachers can…
Then we discussed “learning goals” and “performance goals” (see handout from today). After that, we worked in grade-alike pairs/groups to plan for the implementation of a high-level task and supporting productive struggle.
Then we watched a video about mindsets and the impact of different kinds of praise. And Fran shared Jo Boaler’s book on mathematical mindsets:
Melina suggested that we check Amazon for grade-level books by Jo Boaler. Here is the link to the 3rd-grade book.
Following the discussion on productive struggle, we struggled productive ourselves as we grappled with the “Cut from the same cloth” problem, division, and how natural division of fractions is. At the tail end I mentioned the other post with good sources of rich problems.
Pedagogy HW: Read “Upside Down Teaching” by Cathy Seeley (handout).
- Think about how this message connects to the teaching practices that we have talked about this week from Principles to Actions: Implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving; Use and connect mathematical representations; Build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding; and Support productive struggle in learning mathematics. Make some notes to support your participation in group discussion tomorrow.
Math HW: Reflect on Division of Fractions and why the “keep-change-flip” trick is accurate (but short-cuts the conceptual underpinning).