The Geometry curriculum we use at my school is heavily Algebra based. Therefore, we take some time to review some Algebra concepts. Today, I used some clothesline math with my students. I am amazed that this version of a number talk can take a variety of turns in class and no two conversations I had today with my students went in the same direction. Most classes were able to review what a variable is and what (1/2)x means on the continuum. I really like clothesline math but realized that I need to “invest” in a better clothesline than just some string as the string has too much give to it.
The clothesline included the following two tents which also led to some healthy discussion of equality and the meaning of the symbols.
With that discussion of equality we were able to springboard into “noticing” and “wondering” about some mobile math.
I realized JUST how out of practice I was with running math talks by the time we began talking about this picture. I gave my students too much scaffolding in my first period. By the third time, I was happy with using the notice/wonder structure that gets talked about all the time with #MTBoS. I LOVED the result of what students were able to notice and wonder without me and it led to me seeing the math in some much different ways.
We also touched on having a viable argument and critiquing the reasoning of others (one of my FAVORITE practices). Students were able to say that the diamond was 2 but articulating “why” was really a challenge until they realized that I just wanted students to share their thinking.
I need to work on closure. Each class today left without me “getting their pulse” on if they learned anything – I mean it felt like they got something out of today but I really can’t be for sure. I need to be much more deliberate about getting that information in the future to guide my instruction.