Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine

Chapter 6: Response Choice 1

05 Mar 2019 8:22 AM | Anonymous member

1. What are your favorite or most powerful problem-based tasks for learners?


2. Are you using them for maximum transfer impact?


3. How could you refine your implementation of these tasks to make learning most visible?

Comments

  • 05 Mar 2019 11:19 PM | Anonymous member
    I use cute 'real world' problems to apply learning. For fractions, students are going through an ice cream shop; for geometry, they design a make-believe town; for area and perimeter they design a playground or theme park. I'm not sure I'm using them for maximum impact--perhaps my timing could be different and the group aspect could be different. I try to finish these but sometimes we need to move on before they are done (I don't use them as a culminating activity--it's in between lesson, practice, repeat). I think using manipulatives in conjunction with the real-world problems may make them more impactful and more visible.
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    • 11 Mar 2019 3:34 PM | Anonymous member
      Rachel, using "real world" problems can definitely be a way for students to apply their learning. I have noticed that often times students can do basic questions and then when it is put into a word problem or real world scenario they start to struggle. I think it is interesting that you put a task between lesson, practice, etc... This is a great strategy. I have also seen teachers use them at the start of a unit to see what understandings students already have on a concept. The use of manipulatives with those tasks, I believe, would create more impact.
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  • 06 Mar 2019 6:53 PM | Anonymous member
    My favorite end of the unit task for teaching multi-diigit addition and subtraction is I a task where have a certain about of money and they have to figure out how to open up an animal shelter with that money. They are given a list of things that they have to pay for such as rent, electricity, etc. They are also told how many animals their shelter can hold. They then have to figure out how to spend their money to get the most they can for their animals.
    My students love this task. They love figuring out what they need for their animals and then searching the internet to find the prices and then figuring out what they can get for the money they have down to the last cent.

    My school uses the Everyday Math program. In that program they have one lesson in each unit that is a task. They have a task to solve in their assessment called an open response, and a list of possible projects they can try.
    I am not using them for maximum impact as I am often having to stop because of time issues and just not being able to get to every group that is working on the task see what they are doing and provide feedback.

    I could make these projects come to like such as making tasks a reality. For example, thinking about the task I described earlier, I could have my class do a fundraiser, then figure out what we could buy with the fundraising money, purchase the items and then visit the shelter to donate the materials so the class could actually see the animals using the items they raised money to buy.
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    • 11 Mar 2019 3:36 PM | Anonymous member
      Julie, I love that idea of actually transferring a task to reality. Is there a way to do cross content units where some of these real-world applications can be brought to life? This could be so valuable to deepening understanding and increasing student engagement.
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