Algebraic Thinking and Proportional Reasoning Day #3 (August 9, 2017)

We began digging a little deeper into the focusing and funneling question with a lighthearted video:

We came up with these ideas about the different types of questions:


Goal: singular – particular answer

“Leading” because you already know the answer

Investigating background knowledge

Can build confidence for students who struggle to articulate thoughts

Ok when scaffolding

Help students learn what questions to ask themselves in solving

Might be better for English Language learners and L.S.

With word problems the reading levels might not match the math ability

They might be hard for students with processing issues

If a student has background knowledge of a different strategy it might be counterproductive


Goal: Open ended, allowing multiple pathways, check for understanding

Allows for explaining the thinking

Higher level process conversation

Build stamina or frustration

Opens up the time for commenting

The students direct the path with guidance from the teacher

You have to be careful you don’t go too far down the right path

You must listen carefully

It takes more planning and foresight on the teachers part who must have thought about what might happen.

There is a website where you can share and comment on mistakes students have made in math class –

Charles began our math discussion by looking at the work of a student on the hourglass problem.  There was some good discussion about the work and the process and the accuracy of the mathematical representation.

We ended the day with a pedagogy lesson involving making posters to define proportion, y intercept, x intercept, linear relationship and slope and we did a gallery walk for these posters.

Here is a funny video Bernadette shared about slope:

Homework:  Read “Never Say Anything a Kid Can Say.”  Record any question, “yea, buts” or comments in your journal.

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