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  • Julie Gonzales

    June 29, 2022 at 6:56 pm

    As a math specialist/coach for the district I am really excited to have teachers experience a way to turn a textbook problem into a notice and wonder. I will try this at the beginning of next school year during our professional development in-service days. I will have to be deliberate in how I set up groups of teachers because I will have K – 12 teachers during in-service and I want all teachers to be able to access the question. Once I go through this activity, I will actually show the problem from the book and ask teachers to discuss their experience with a partner and then discuss as a whole group. It is my hopes that teachers will bring out their level of engagement/curiosity compared to what it would have been with just giving the original problem. I have found in my job that I have to challenge teachers’ thinking about their own routines in the classroom before they will consider changing what they do. The best way is through their own experience.

    Original problem from Geometry: The tallest building in the world is Burj Khalifa in Dubai (as of April 2019). If you are standing on a bridge 250 m from the bottom of the building, you have to look up at a 73 degree angle to see the top of the building. How tall is the building.

    First I would just show a picture of this building and ask teachers what they notice and wonder. There are many different notices and wonderings the teachers will come up with! After sharing with a partner and then with the group, I would then ask them “how tall is the building” (I believe this will be a natural wondering teachers will have). I would ask them to talk with a partner what they might need to know in order to answer this question. Once the group brainstorms some ideas, I would show the picture again but with a person standing 250 m from the base of the building and the 73 degree angle looking up to the top and ask them to solve. (I am considering changing the base length and angle to make it even more accessible for elementary teachers!)