Wow, we have had two days of powerful math happening in our classes. As per our last discussion, we gave each student a 100s chart. We began by asking students to colour in all of the multiples of one. To our surprise…most kids had no idea what we were talking about. In fact, many confused looks were exchanged among the students – and us, as we realized that few kids knew where to start. Then the magic began…students started making conjectures, they began supporting and refuting others’ conjectures, they were talking about abstract concepts and began developing an in-depth understanding of the concept being discussed. The light bulbs were going off. Misconceptions were discussed and partial truths were reworded to become complete truths. We discovered new definitions and new ways of thinking. It was powerful. We captured a great deal on video and we took several photos.
The discussion today was based on the question “what is a multiple of 2?”. The first picture is the kids initial ideas, the second picture is their refined/reworded conjectures. The last 2 pictures are of students individual journals, where we asked them to define “even” and “odd”. This is evidence of powerful mathematical learning happening in grade 4 🙂 It was powerful for teachers, admin (who popped by) and for our students. Although it seems rudimentary, we believe we are setting the foundation for solid mathematical reasoning, establishing conjectures, working through the conjectures to find truths, and discovering that their is not just one way of “doing” math.