As you already know, the Math Forum staff taped at Christopher Columbus Charter School in May to get footage to go along with the new book Max wrote. They wanted to show how different methods highlighted in each chapter of the book are implemented into different grades and classroom settings in schools. They tried different activities with the students like “Forget the question,” “What do you see/hear?,” and my favorite think-pair-share, in which students think about the question on their own, share what they noticed and wondered with a partner, and then share with the class. As I was going through all the video footage, I realized that when the students were given manipulatives to use to solve the problems, they became really engaged in the activities and were having fun. They would argue their ideas with one another and would even take the questions one step farther by wondering what would happen in a different scenario. For example, Annie did a problem with a class called Trapezoid Teatime, in which they had to figure out how many seats you could have if you connected five trapezoid-shaped tables together.

With the manipulatives given, the students figured out the problem, but they also began to form new shapes with the trapezoids to figure how many seats they could fit if the tables were placed in a different formation.

I loved how creative the students were and how eager they were to answer the problems using the manipulatives!