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  • Heather Alden

    July 25, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    Traditional Lessons have the assumption that teachers need to give a specific strategy or method to the students and then have them copy/practice it multiple times to learn concepts. The lesson we watched with the chocolates has a very different way of helping students. It has them enter the problem with any ideas and all of these ideas are honored. There is no “absolutely correct” way to do the problem. Teachers can show and celebrate the different strategies and push students towards more efficient work when they are ready or even just exposure to that if they are not yet ready. The benefits of this style of lesson is that students are able to use manipulatives and any representations that they need to access and all of these are honored in the classroom. Students also are given a problem that they are not just following what the teacher did and copying the teacher’s strategies. I think this method over time would increase confidence in all students to be able to struggle/persevere through problems when it is not obvious exactly what to do. This seems to much better prepare students for life with honing skills of risk taking, perseverance, struggling, and thinking. My reservations of this style of lesson is just wondering how to make sure to have all students practicing grade level work. For example, if in 4th grade they need to learn the standard algorithm for subtraction but are not there yet, will the consolidation period of seeing examples of this method from their peers actually help them to achieve the standard by the end of the year? I am on board for higher engagement and more thinking in my classroom… I think curiosity will help students be open to learning new concepts, even when it feels tough.