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Moving Beyond the Right Answer

11:00 - 12:00 Saturday, December 7
    Suzanne Alejandre, Philadelphia, PA

What happens when we give students solutions and engage them in an activity where the focus is shifted from solving a problem to reflecting on methods used by others to solve the problem? We'll experience this and discuss how to create similar activities from different resources. Activities that offer a variety of problem-solving strategies provide the scaffolding for students to develop how they make sense of problems, develop additional problem-solving methods, & persevere in solving problems.

Ostrich Llama Count -- Examining Solution Methods [PDF]
In this activity, the focus is shifted from solving the problem to reflecting on methods used by others to solve the problem. Students are asked to embrace one of the methods, make sense of it, and present it as a reasonable method to use in solving the problem. In addition, students are asked to compare the method to a method they would have used. How does it compare? What are the advantages of each method? What are the challenges?
Giving Answers
Samples: View PDF links for: Problem, Teacher Packet, Primary Rubric, and Scenario
Primary: The Eagle and the Bear
Elementary: Dad's Cookies
Middle School: Ostrich Llama Count
Algebra 1: Math Club Mystery
High School Geometry: Broken Pottery
Using Resources on Hand
your textbook
last year's student work (or collecting now thinking toward next year)
Ask Dr. Math
    Ask Dr. Math FAQ: Negative x Negative = Positive
    Ask Dr. Math: FAQ: The Missing Dollar
    Ask Dr. Math: FAQ: Three Houses, Three Utilities
Additional Activities - Using Student Work or Sample Work
What's the Same? What's Different? [PDF]
I Don't Know If I'm Right [PDF]
Elbow-to-Elbow Revisions [PDF]
What ideas might you try?
What challenges do you foresee?
What will you look for as a success?
What resources might you need? What resources do you have that you know you could use?
Additional Resources
Blog: Suzanne at the Math Forum [HTML]
Annie Fetter: Ever Wonder What They'd Notice? [Ignite! Talk]
Suzanne Alejandre: Unsilence Students' Voices [Ignite! Talk]
Max Ray: Why 2 > 4: A Proof by Induction [Ignite! Talk]
Ostrich Llama Count--Examining Solution Methods [PDF]
How to Start Problem Solving in Your Classroom [PDF]
Problem Solving-It Has to Begin with Noticing and Wondering [PDF]
Unsilence Students' Voices [PDF]
Supporting Sense-Making and Perseverance [PDF]
Think You Don't Have Time to Use the PoWs? [PDF]
Writing to Develop Understanding: The Math Forum @ Drexel's PoWs [PDF]
Making Effective Use of Math Forum Resources: K-2 and 3-5 [HTML] 6-8 and 9-12 [HTML]
Our book: Powerful Problem Solving: Activities for Sense-Making with the Mathematical Practices [HTML]
Our book's companion website: [HTML] including freely accessible classroom videos

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