Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler How do you define solutions? Reply To: How do you define solutions?

  • Mary Manske

    December 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Part of the problem is that I’m struggling to ask a question that will elicit that understanding. A few years ago when we started Systems, I used one of the Desmos activities in their collection (one of the earlier ones). It gets at what a system is and what a solution to a system is. I felt my students *could* tell me what a solution is, but clearly the questions I was asking weren’t going deep enough (and I’m not sure what to ask instead). 

    I also want to be able to reflect this understanding on an assessment, which is where we really hit a roadblock. This is last years back and forth (over systems, but its still solutions):

    I want them to understand what a solution is.

    So we tell them the solution is where the lines cross or the pair that they get.

    But they still don’t know what it means…what about a table? How do they connect their solution to a table? What does that mean?

    So if I tell them the solution is where the y values are the same in the table, would that work?

    ..You probably get the idea. I want them to understand what they’re finding and what it means when they find a solution, but I really need to get my team onboard first (thankfully, they are much clearer thinkers than me). 

    I’m not sure how to ask students in a way that avoids them parroting back an answer in an assessment type situation but I’m not too concerned with that because I feel pretty comfortable formatively assessing this. But I can’t explain it well enough to my team for us to build in more time for this and to make sure we are addressing it throughout the year. 

    That probably still was not a good enough answer to what a solution is–I’m trying but I’m not the best at being clear.