Notice and Wonder®

We believe that when students become active doers rather than passive consumers of mathematics the greatest gains of their mathematical thinking can be realized. The process of sense-making truly begins when we create questioning, curious classrooms full of students' own thoughts and ideas. By asking What do you notice? What do you wonder? we give students opportunities to see problems in big-picture ways, and discover multiple strategies for tackling a problem. Self-confidence, reflective skills, and engagement soar, and students discover that the goal is not to be "over and done," but to realize the many different ways to approach problems.

Resources

Using the PoWs: Getting Started: How to Start Problem Solving in Your Classroom [PDF]
Annie Fetter's story of using Teresa's Tiles in an 8th grade "lowest level" class in the spring of 2007. This was the start of coining the phrase Notice and Wonder.
 
 
Problem Solving-It Has to Begin with Noticing and Wondering
A story from collaborative work Marie Hogan and Suzanne Alejandre did with Marie's students at Traweek Middle School in West Covina, CA. Originally published on pages 31-33 in the December, 2010, issue of the CMC ComMuniCator, the journal of the California Mathematics Council.
 
 
Ignite: Ever Wonder What They'd Notice?
Annie Fetter (@MFAnnie) gave a talk on April 15, 2011, at the Ignite talks hosted by Key Curriculum Press during the 2011 NCTM Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN. Originally hosted by the Key Press YouTube Channel, where it had over 16,000 views, now hosted by the Math Forum.
 
Beginning to Problem Solve with "I Notice, I Wonder" [PDF]
The fundamental activity at the heart of Understand the Problem is I Notice, I Wonder®, an open-ended prompt that gets students talking about math scenarios in a non-threatening, careful way.
 
 
Book: Powerful Problem Solving: Handout I Notice, I Wonder (Forget the Question) [PDF]
Taking time to notice and wonder and focus on understanding before focusing on solving gives students a place to begin when they are stuck or are not confident in their problem-solving ability.
 
 
Blog: Problems of the Week
Free scenarios are posted here on a rotating basis. You'll find one for each level that we offer, including, Primary, Math Fundamentals, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trig/Calculus.
 
 
Classroom Videos
In the spring of 2013, the Math Forum partnered with Christopher Columbus Charter School to produce videos of some of our favorite Powerful Problem Solving activities in action.
 


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