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When the programming didn't work the way they wanted, they persisted and figured out what to change regarding speed, direction, and other forces and motions. The props attached to the robots morphed into whatever matched the students' stories.
Out of all my years in the classroom, these students were the most excited about learning together.
Relationships were made and strengthened while working together and problem solving through cooperative learning.
In 5–8 minutes, each student independently creates their own exemplar problem (typically a word problem) that matches the standard they've been learning.
Each student must also have the answer to their created problem, along with the steps they would expect one to take to solve it. As part of an action research project, I assigned my class of second graders to remain with the same group of tablemates for an entire school year.
—Ryan Lester, instructional coach, Hmong College Prep Academy, Saint Paul, Minnesota As a class we compile a list of problems within our school and greater community.
We then categorize them by type of problem (environmental, social, etc.) to understand the possible effects on the community.The students immediately thought of using rulers for the tracks.They worked together to adjust the distance setting in the app on their tablets of where the robot would stop and turn to the right.Then I give students two questions: What do you notice about the problem? In groups, students talk with each other about those questions.One student from each group then comes to the board to share their notice and wonder and explain their reasoning.Given an actual sample of soup cans, students work in groups, using string, rulers, graphing software (Desmos), and derivatives to generate a solution to support their claim.Student groups come up with different results, using concepts from economics, health, and marketing principles to defend their solutions.Once all students have created their exemplars, they pair up and hand their problem to their partner. Any teacher will tell you that changing seats is one of the most useful classroom management strategies to keep sanity in the classroom when students stop getting along … Each week I incorporated an assignment to improve collaboration skills.The partners rise from their seats and find a spot along the white board (or grab small personal white boards). In our first activity of the year, each group selected a group name and mascot. But each student had their own idea, and it turned into a substantial problem-solving task in itself.Once groups are given the actual question, they jump into solving it in their groups, then present their work on the board.By focusing math classes on higher level questioning through word problems, asking probing questions about the nature of the problem, having group discussions about the problems, and sharing failure/multiple representations, students get to see that math is just a problem-solving strategy and not a series of rules and equations they need to memorize.