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  • Jon Orr

    May 1, 2019 at 11:41 am

    How does the lesson style you witnessed in the Lesson 1-5 video compare with traditional math lessons? What are the benefits of this style of lesson? What are your reservations about this style of lesson?

  • Stephen Prince

    February 1, 2021 at 5:45 am

    The lesson style witnessed may lead to more open ended questions and expectations that students will have to think for themselves rather than being led by similar examples demonstrated by a class teacher.

    The fear of using this approach is students may get off task, not tackle the tasks in the most efficient and accurate way or learn new ideas.

    If this lesson style is a success students will become more adept at problem solving and communicating their ideas mathematically.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 1, 2021 at 7:18 am

      Thanks for sharing!

      I wonder what the result would be if a student didn’t tackle the problem in the most accurate or efficient way? Why might this be a negative thing? Is there any positive that could come of it?

  • Gretchen Burch

    February 1, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Traditional math lessons focus on the teacher showing you what to do, students, you mimic what teacher did.

    This lesson style is more focused on engagement and understanding. There is a sense of discovery for the student and there is very much the answering of the question of why/where do these formulas come from.

    My reservations for this style of math is the pacing, and my own personal ability to flexibly sequence the strategies students are sharing and working with.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 1, 2021 at 7:23 am

      Thanks for sharing!

      Pacing is certainly a concern for those who are new to problem based learning and understandably so. However, while pacing feels slower approaching lessons in this way, my wonder is how many students were keeping up in a traditional gradual release of responsibility lesson? I find we tend to keep a pace whether students are keeping up or not. Problem based lessons allow us to go deeper and meet more students where they are.

  • Robert Barth

    February 1, 2021 at 7:59 am

    I like the definition by Peter Liljedahl that traditional teaching originates from assuming kids do not know anything, while problem based learning looks to build knowledge off of what the students already know. So, if you assume kids do not know anything, then you need to tell them everything. If you assume they have a base, then all you need to do is push them when they need help.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 4, 2021 at 6:40 am

      Great take away. The idea of “low floor, high ceiling” is so important to leverage this as well.

  • Trina Gratrix

    February 1, 2021 at 10:37 am

    There are so many benefits to this type of lesson. Kids are intersted, they see the value in their indivudul style of solving the problem, they are differentiatable, and there is “Real Math” — not just learning algorighims — going on. My only hesitation is how to fit this into my curriculum. What can I do to make what I am teaching fit into this model — I work with a PLC, and the expectaion is that we are moving together and teaching the same things.

  • Nicolette Brubaker

    February 2, 2021 at 12:23 am

    When you use the discovery method; students tend to remember the work they put into it and what they got out of it. Typically they can then apply that learning later. In a regular system, they try to remember a formula or steps to follow for the test and then forget about it. With this method shown, they can take and use what they learned in other areas and subjects and it doesn’t just stay an isolated case of learning rules to remember for a test.

  • Lena Tunon

    February 2, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    I really enjoyed watching how the inquiry framework has been applied in a math learning context. Students are pushed to do the thinking/heavy lifting here, while the “fueling” portion of the three-part framework keeps students on track with the lesson goals/objectives. I teach math in a dual language context, where students are also receiving direct math instruction in their mother-tongue: Mandarin. Math instruction in China is very direct and teaches skills in a very deliberate and targeted progression. My students have a very solid foundation, but sometimes do not have the opportunity to apply their thinking. I really look forward to using this framework in my math classes, because I think it will add depth of understanding to their strong foundation, and also give opportunity for students who see themselves as weak in math to gain some confidence.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 4, 2021 at 6:41 am

      This is very interesting to me. When you say “direct and targeted”, would you say that the learning is more procedural, conceptual, both?

  • Michelle Grebe

    February 3, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    This lesson style is very different than the traditional math lesson format. The accessible entry point, use of video, and withheld information, all make this lesson very engaging. I’m sure the idea of having your teacher and his friend star in the video is an added appeal! This brings every learner to the problem to share notices and wonders without performing mathematically yet.

    The part of the lesson where students get to solve a question is where the productive struggle begins. I can see (and feel for) some students not knowing quite where to begin. I assume we as teachers can ask them some questions about the task to steer them in the right direction. This would be the main monitoring stage for the teacher, I assume.

    One area I would like to become stronger in during this course and beyond is the ability to anticipate more than 2 ways to approach the problem. From there the selecting and sequencing skills would need to develop with the ultimate aim of connecting to the learning goal.

  • Bailey Mortensen

    February 3, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    I love that these problem based lessons are accessible to all students, regardless of their “math level.” This framework gives all students the chance to be engaged (rather than leaving some behind in a traditional math class). By being accessible to everyone, this style of teaching encourages creativity, community, confidence and perseverance. It allows students to create their own models rather than simply memorizing a formula.

  • Kyle Pearce

    February 4, 2021 at 6:46 am

    Great reflections here!

    It sounds like the overwhelming response is that a problem based lesson is more engaging and has many benefits.

    A couple struggles we are hearing include how do we help students when they don’t know where to start and how do I get through my curriculum.

    For what to do when students don’t know where to start… this is common especially when math has been delivered in a direct instruction, procedures first approach. Building a culture of problem solving will take time and effort. We will also need to develop our questioning skills to ask students a question that will keep them thinking without robbing their thinking.

    As for curriculum, teaching students to become resilient problem solvers will help you with pacing rather than slow you down. It seems counter intuitive, but it is true. Build that culture by investing in this process and you will save time and students will retain more.

  • John Gaspari

    February 4, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    This lesson was much more engaging then the traditional way of say teaching a lesson out of a math textbook. It was visually appealing with the video and it sparks curiosity and leads students to want to explore of what’s happening using numbers and then try to make sense of it all. It is great because it is a low floor, high ceiling task which allows for group work where everyone can contribute. I have tried similar tasks from your website and really appreciate the suggestion of having extensions ready for that randomly created group that is done ahead of everyone else. In the past, I would just give an extension off the cuff but planning for individual students that are scattered amongst the groups makes a lot sense.

    • Jon Orr

      February 5, 2021 at 6:42 am

      Great words from Tom Schimmer: “plan with precision, so you can proceed with flexibility”

  • Scott McNutt

    February 4, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    A traditional math class is a group of disconnected rules that we teach students to perform on homework and the unit test. The opportunities to generalize their knowledge into unfamiliar areas are minimal. It is significantly dependent on the teacher to be the carrier of the experience that shoves as many rules and algorithms as possible in a year.

    The lesson style presented in the first five lessons will put the student in the driver’s seat of their understanding. They get to help create the questions being asked and find multiple ways to work their questions. I feel the video said it better, but seeing the various representations, in the end, will take away some of the fear of unfamiliar problems. The students will see that they can create a strategy to get to the end solution.

    My fear of this is that I was not taught this way, and I haven’t been teaching this way, so am I going to be a first-year teacher again to change my approach to a Problem Based system.

    • Jon Orr

      February 5, 2021 at 6:44 am

      @scott.mcnutt I like your vulnerability here! We have to be ready to become that first year teacher again to change our practice! We’re here for you every step of the way.


    February 4, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    The lesson style is different because it is like a movie. You are dropped into this world and you do not really know what is going on. You have to pay attention to the clues in the the exposition to figure out where you are, who is that guy (“oh, I see he is the bad guy because …”), where you are going. Therefore the story starts to belong to the student and not the teacher. Sometimes I spend so many hours/days/months/years developing a problem or something and then it is my baby/I know it inside and out and I drop it on my students who are thinking about the girl they will call that night or the fight thye had with their mom. This approach brings the student in and makes it more likely the student will make it his/hers and therefore they start to do some of the heavy lifting. Then the problem becomes their baby – the results theirs. The benefits are memorableness – which is important for how they see themselves as mathematicians/students/problem solvers but also in the concept they get that opens doors to other concepts. The limitation are yes time, but I think also mood. It is a lot of energy and sometimes I think my studnets (at least I do) need a day to sit and do some repetative equation solving. It is just good for some students mental health on some days to get away fro mthe engaging conversations – especially the introverts wherre that sucks up energy. Certainly not a reason to not do this approach but to consider some students and break it up with a little practice here and there. I think sometimes repetiion (once they get it and are doing it right can lead to pattern discovery). So the only limitation is it cannot be every class/every concept I think.

    • Jon Orr

      February 5, 2021 at 6:47 am

      @david.diehl Definitely! We need a good balance so we can help all students achieve. The balance can also happen in the same lesson. Time for quiet thinking, time for active discussions, time for quiet practice, ect.

  • Holly Blahun

    February 9, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    Perfect world math classes would all look like this! Students working to solve the problem rather than me telling them how. But many of the concepts in higher math (grade 11/12) will be the foundation for more “applicable” math (calculus) and I struggle with finding the best way to set kids up to come across the patterns on their own – what accessible problem could they solve but not be totally lost? For example, tried to have students graph x^2 vs. x^2 – 3 vs. (x – 3)^2 and have them come up with the rules, but found that the time it took them to graph even, let alone notice the pattern, was way longer than I had room for in the schedule. Working on a quad system, time is a real concern. I know this course is more applicable to younger grades, but wouldn’t it be perfect if all math classes followed this structure? My struggle is coming up with the “notice/wonder” investigations and still covering all of the outcomes.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 11, 2021 at 7:41 am

      Time is always a concern and on the minds of educators – especially in the senior grades. While this should always be on our minds, never forget to ask yourself whether flying through material at a surface level is getting the results you’re after. Covering vs conquering content are two very different things.

  • Paul Jeffries

    February 10, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    It is almost as though I have been given the freedom to conduct class outside of the box. I have found more success with delaying the traditional notes until the end of the lesson instead of the beginning to help solidify the thinking.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 11, 2021 at 7:40 am

      So glad to hear it! Yes, save the consolidating and “notes to your future self” creating to the end.

  • Laura Las Heras Ruiz

    February 13, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I thought that I was far from classic lessons: teaching rules and doing exercises. In my math classes I always try to ask students about their own way, and strategies to solve problems, then they show their calculations or strategies in a plastic board. Then I put the different ways that I think is more interesting in the black board even if they aren’t correct.

    The new and very interesting things for me, and that they are also a great difference with classical lessons, are:

    • The amazing and recycling context.

    If for example I am teaching equations, I will accept and show students strategies even if they aren’t equations. But I will not do it myself, and now I think it is a huge handicap. Because if I do it, I could help students to connect with this past knowledge and do understand more students, and help others to make new math connections.

    • I don’t usually use estimation in my class, I think is a good way to spark curiosity.

    I hope that incorporating this 3 parts framework in my classes students will be more open minded to include different ways to thing and calculate and that they will not be lasy trying to understand the strategies of their partners.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 14, 2021 at 6:42 am

      It will certainly take time to build that culture to get students more actively and openly sharing their notices, wonders and strategies, but it will come with time if you keep at it! Thanks for the great reflection!

  • Kathleen Bourne

    February 14, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    This lesson assumes that everyone has an entry point to solve it in some way. There’s no assumption that it’s too difficult or too easy because a teacher can guide students to stretch what they have solved. My reservations are what if I’m not sure how to stretch their thinking and how would I create this kind of task myself? I already feel overwhelmed with tasks so how do I build this (necessary) structure and keep up with all of my other responsibilities?

    • Jon Orr

      February 16, 2021 at 5:39 am

      @kathleen.bourne these are definitely natural reservations and the beauty part is that we help you with these things in the rest of the course!

  • Teresa Corbo

    February 17, 2021 at 11:32 am

    These types of lessons build the capacity to think through problems. I hope that it helps them build confidence in their ability to do math.

  • Kay Walder

    February 17, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    This type of problem is based on inquiry versus a traditional plug and solve problem. Benefit is that if the concept is taught with excellence then the concept allows for deep understanding especially if mistakes were made along the way. It is a safe way to learn. Traditional math can leave students behind quickly if they do not understand the concept because the learning is shallow. Traditional learning is based on mimicking what the textbook or teacher does and replicate it. This type of learning is forgettable. Reservations of inquiry learning is finding the right task and being a skilled enough teacher to direct the learning with what you are given. Being new to teaching math this year, I am finding that I struggle with connecting the learning. I am not afraid of the inquiry portions of the lesson from all my years teaching science or the discussion or not answering the student’s questions, but it is that magically step of pulling out that learning for everyone which I am struggling with. Some of my students get the connection easily and they are willing to complete all the thinking for everyone in their group, but others want the plug and chug which is frustrating because they do not make the connections.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Kay Walder.
  • Helen Calaway

    February 24, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    This style of teaching employs conceptual understanding and thinking. Many students with disabilities have memory delays and are not able to memorize rote problems. This teaching allows students to visualize and draw conclusions on real life examples. It creates a meaning and purpose that allows for an increase in engagement.

    As a resource math teacher, the struggle comes with students generating ideas and sharing them. They are usually silent in a lesson like this especially in middle school since there are developmentally insecure. They really have to be coached into this type of lesson. They generally sit and wait to be told how to do it. Therefore, a lot of prompting and scaffolding happens. Also, many general ed. teachers don’t do this because of the amount of time one lesson or “problem” takes. They have pacing guides to follow and struggle with doing both.

  • Serina Signorello

    July 1, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    In lessons like this, the students are engaged in the problem at the start of the lesson and excited to figure them out, whereas in traditional math lessons it can become mechanical, especially when students are not actively engaged until the practice which typically occurs at the end of the lesson. In the latter the teacher is doing most of the thinking.

    Benefits: My students enjoy notice and wonder questions because they are all capable of noticing and wondering. I believe this aids in building the confidence of low performing students. I especially enjoy how problems like the ones in the video have a low floor and many different ways of approaching the problem which make it accessible for all learners. I love how Kyle mentioned coming back to a task that was previously used. I did the post-it note and camera case lesson for slope this year and referred back to it informally last year. Now I am excited to think of questions I can use when re-introducing the problem for writing equations of lines and systems of equations.

    Reservations: The challenging part for me is feeling overwhelmed, like I need to scrap everything I used to do and dive into this 150%. I’m not sure if I need to spend a year going fully problem-based (try the illustrative mathematics curriculum), pull problems from all of the resources I’ve found through MMM Podcast, or figure out how to spiral my curriculum.

    Thankfully I used the pandemic to test out problem-based lessons and did some exploring and tried many new activities, so I have a place to start.

  • Velia Kearns

    July 1, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Traditional Math Lessons are more “Organized” and Compartmental.

    The lesson here was more Organic, and could lead to connections with larger contexts like the math was intended for. Being able to pull the idea from a previous lesson was easier because the “moment” was closer to the memory. It existed in more than just rote copying of an example – but had hands-on, visual, friends talking about it, AND notes.

    In this lesson, the notes weren’t the goal – the expansion of the idea was more the goal.


    When will notes ever be the goal?

    I like to show students “Structure” in writing the answer; there is less structure for this lesson – for example in High School writing the x for multiplication wouldn’t be a good thing since it’s a variable – so brackets are advertised/used

    After you do this type of learning – for how many days? – does the traditional math class ever come back?

    This lesson style is there to spark and fuel, but then part of the connection is the rote copying of notes and examples, isn’t it?
    I can use this for the concept, but I also need to “Show” them how to write the answer when dealing with the problem – after they learn how to identify and think through what’s being asked.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Velia Kearns.
    • Kyle Pearce

      July 3, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Great questions here.

      In short, the goal is never to copy notes despite the fact that for about 10 years in my classroom, that was pretty much all students did. A question to ask about note taking is what skills are students developing and are those skills what our goal is for students in math class?

      The structure can come during / after consolidation as we make connections and summarize our work/ findings. This should be co-constructed by the facilitator and the students (not a copy job).

      Check out our problem based units to get a sense of what a 5 to 8 day “unit” would look like / sound like: learn.makemathmoments.com/tasks

  • Tracy Arriola

    July 2, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Traditional lessons are planned and structured. The lesson starts with the teacher. The teacher tells the students exactly how to do the math for the lessons. Most of the time we are providing them with one way to solve the problem. We provide notes as a roadmap for later. The students copy the work of the teacher. When they get the right answer, we say they have mastered the skill. For students that are below level, they will need some intervention because the lesson started above their level. The enrichment for the students that are successful will happen once they have shown mastery of the lesson content. Most lessons are independent of each other. The traditional lesson seems to take away the student’s ability to think for themselves.

    This lesson is also planned but is structured off of the students. The lesson starts with the students. The notice and wonder engages the students. As the teacher presents the problem for the students to solve, it allows students of all levels to start at their level of knowledge. The intervention or enrichment for all students can happen in the lesson. The lessons connect content.

    My reservation comes from it feeling like you are giving up control. What if we don’t match up to the pacing guide? How do you build the culture in your classroom, if the students don’t know where to start?

    • Kyle Pearce

      July 3, 2021 at 7:57 am

      These are great reflections and wonders.
      Pacing guides are always tricky since traditional lessons didn’t help you keep pace either – not unless you were willing to move on without students understanding. The same could be true here: I can keep moving along despite students not being ready or I can meet students where they are and help them progress accordingly.
      Building the culture takes time and we will dive into that more throughout the online workshop. When students are stuck, we use purposeful questioning to help get them unstuck.

  • Linda Andres

    July 3, 2021 at 10:16 am

    An interesting result, of focusing in this direction, is watching the students who are bored because math is so “easy” becoming engaged in stretching their mathematical thinking. Making room for multiple ways to solve problems also validates the different thinking of less traditional learners. A third result is that everyone seems to be more engaged in what is learning. Many students who come in hating math begin calling math their “favourite subject” because their minds are engaged and their confidence has grown. I am on the journey of learning this style of teaching and have already seen these results.

  • Lucie Dauth

    July 5, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Instead of the teacher being the one in action, the students are the ones in action. The teacher is a moderator instead of the center of learning. Many different models are used to solve the problem. It is problem based. The students have to think not mimic!

  • Denny Nelson

    July 5, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    First of all this one situation can be used in many different ways. It is possible to come back to it later. It is also very visual. It avoids going to numbers and symbols and instead uses pictures and reasoning.

  • Kristen Longley

    July 7, 2021 at 10:17 am

    The benefits is how much the students are doing the thinking. They are the ones making the connections. You don’t have to do that for them. Kids will be way more engaged in these lessons then they ever could be in the traditional type lesson. Students also have multiple entry points in a lesson of this type. I loved it, especially the connection to the derivation of the volume of a sphere formula!

  • Holly Dybvig

    July 12, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    I feel like this really breaks it down into tactile pieces rather than a lecture style. I think this type of lesson would make it easier to creating grading based on the TEKS rather than trying to rush through a lesson and then fight with students to complete their work. I have seen so many students who have failed classes because they did not connect with the work or format of the lesson even though they completely understood the concept. I feel this could also be completed online with students who may be out sick and need to make up this lesson. We could also utilize feedback sites such as NearPod, Padlet, FlipGrid, and so many others.

  • Vanessa Watt

    July 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    This lesson style is more student guided instead of teacher led. The teacher still has a leadership role, but the students help lead the class as well with their ideas. This would give the students a feeling of control, and pride when their ideas are shared, heard, and encouraged. The reservations of this style of lesson would be the time it takes to get to the final product, as well as the nervousness of the teacher with what can be perceived as lack of control in the classroom while the Sense Making is taking place.

    • Jon Orr

      July 18, 2021 at 8:17 am

      @vanessa.watt These concerns are definitely valid! Luckily being in this course should help you with both! Looking forward to helping you along the way.

  • Manuel Salcido

    July 19, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    The lesson gives students a place to start, no matter where they are mathematically. There is less pressure to have the math concepts thrown out right away. It gets students to start thinking and making guesses, whether right or wrong. This usually gets students stuck because they won’t move on unless they feel or are told that they are right. The lesson demonstrates math in its essence…which is what I have loved about the subject. Taking a very simple exploration and show how it can be used to demonstrate very high level of mathematical thinking while giving all students an entry point and now feel as intimidated.

  • Mary Rathlev

    July 19, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    I am looking for the Chocolate Mania Lesson under Tasks as you directed and I don’t see it. Does it go by another name?

  • Kristi Kortuem

    July 22, 2021 at 11:45 am

    The lesson style I saw in the 1-5 video feels less structured and not as predictable as what I have traditionally planned for. It feels much more engaging for me as the teacher and for the students in the classroom, I see this as a benefit for all. I also see benefits for my students because they are the ones doing the thinking and sharing their ideas with one another. I like the way all students have access to doing the problem the way they see it. Some reservations I have are about my lack of confidence in trying to carry it out since it is so new for me. I also worry about how one student’s idea may side-track what I think the main goal for the day is. I think that is what the consolidation process will help with.? My other reservation is about other “type A math teacher planners” out there. How can I convince them that this is worth trying?

    • Kyle Pearce

      July 23, 2021 at 7:49 am

      Great reflection and great wonder.
      You can still be a type A planner – and probably should be – as there is much to think about upfront. See our teacher guides here https://learn.makemathmoments.com/tasks and check the guide tab to see all the thinking and planning that goes into it.


  • Cherry Perentesis

    July 24, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    This lesson is the complete opposite of the way I have been teaching. As per school board directed instructions, I have always posted and discussed the learning goal prior to any lesson. This lesson makes me realize that I have been “robbing” my students of their curiosity path. This lesson also validates what I tell my students. I am always saying that they don’t need to use the method of solving that I show them. My direct teaching method, however, really doesn’t promote that…now wondering how many students are actually thinking “yeah right!”, when I tell them this. I love how we can highlight all the different methods that students may use to come up with the correct answer…maybe now students will believe me:)

  • Anna LeCuyer

    July 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    There is much more room for student discussion and for students to approach the problem in different ways.

  • ann Martin

    July 29, 2021 at 2:03 pm

    This type of lesson is so engaging and fun! I wonder if kids who are typically “good” at math in a traditional classroom would feel more reserved about engaging since there is no memorized formula and kids who struggle would feel more comfortable since they are invited to engage with creativity. Really cool way to open up math to everyone and encourage reflective thought and discussion. Love it!

    • Kyle Pearce

      July 30, 2021 at 7:42 am

      We definitely get some of our memorizers or traditionally “strong” students pushing back on this approach as they aren’t comfortable not knowing the answer or the procedure right away. They are put into a productive struggle which is uncomfortable when they’ve never been pushed to truly think in the past. They totally get over it though! 🙂

  • Rachel Baker

    July 29, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    It is SO different from the way that I currently teach. I definitely use the traditional model (aka I do, we do, you do) and it becomes so monotonous as the year goes on. This activity invited the students to take ownership of their learning and it make them realize what skills they needed to solve the problem. I loved it!

    • Kyle Pearce

      July 30, 2021 at 7:41 am

      Super cool! If you’re loving it, be sure to explore the problem based units which follow the same framework:

  • Vanessa Weske

    August 11, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    I think with this style of lesson it does a lot of beneficial things. It encourages depth of learning over breadth. It connects learning and builds experiences that students can continue to reference. It encourages problem-solving and builds in group work and discourse (and vocab by extension). It is low-floor/high-ceiling so students can enter the task in multiple ways and the discussion style honors individual, creative thinking.

  • Valentina Mejia

    August 16, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    I love how this type of lesson builds on students questions and offers multiple entryways to a singular problem/ concept!

    What I find difficult is being present to help the different students where they may need while also anticipating the extensions needed. I have students who will do all the work/thinking for their peers without letting them attempt the problem(s) at hand.

  • Peggy Allen

    August 17, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    The 3-part framework values skills students currently have to solve contextual problems; there is a gradual progression to the instructor sharing the algorithm after students have chosen, shared, and discussed their own path to solve a problem. Everyone can find some success. The traditional math lessons remind me of a recipe that varies very little, and students are expected to follow it in order to get the same outcome.

    The non-traditional math lessons provide students with more opportunity to explore different ways to solve problems as they build towards a conceptual understanding of the ‘new’ strategy. I love how there is more freedom for students to use the knowledge they have and then to build on it. Hopefully, fewer students would be left behind in the dust. Additionally, the 3-part framework encourages those students who are very inquisitive to explore outside the box.

    My only reservation: Can I get through the curriculum? I usually have at least one class where students are highly motivated to learn and work, so this style of lesson is fantastic to use. The other classes are a mix. It’s there where I worry about progressing too slowly to get to the end point; however, I will definitely give it a shot.😀

    • Kyle Pearce

      August 18, 2021 at 7:23 am

      Great reflection here and great question. We often ask educators whether “getting through” means students learned the material? We used to be masters of “getting through”, but often times, our students didn’t make meaning of what they saw. So while there might be a fear/risk of a time crunch, we believe it is worth the risk.

  • Maria Reynaga

    September 23, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    The interaction with lessons like this, let’s us see how the students were solving the problems. We can hear what strategies they use, their way of thinking and also areas of development.

    I think we always say one reservation will be time and the age of students.

    • Kyle Pearce

      September 28, 2021 at 6:33 am

      Can you tell us more about the age part?

  • Patricia Scheler

    September 26, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    I think this lesson style is beneficial if students have confidence already and they are willing to try looking at things another way. They will find it satisfying to defend their answer. Students who are not confident and don’t have strong number sense will still feel lost without adequate support. I, too, worry about getting through the curriculum I have to get through.

    • Kyle Pearce

      September 28, 2021 at 6:32 am

      This is an interesting reflection. Have you tried problem based lessons enough to know this is reality or is this an assumption you are making?

  • Rebekah Kneupper

    September 27, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    The lesson style enables teachers to utilize more open-ended questions. This heightens the expectation of students having to think and solve problems using their problem-solving skills instead of waiting for the answer. This also does not limit students to think that there is only one way to solve problems. Versus traditional lessons that simply teach students to copy the teacher and not think for themselves.
    The reservations about using this style is less structure in the way things are taught, task could take longer than expected and not allow for all task to be met in one day, how to know if students know how to accurately solve the problem, and is this the best way to present new ideas to all levels of learners.
    Utilizing this type of style allows students to become more vocal in their understanding, problem solving and communication skills about math specifically. With this style students might be more willing to make mistakes and try again. This type of lesson engages the learners and develop their own style of learning why we solve problems a particular way.

    • Kyle Pearce

      September 28, 2021 at 6:35 am

      Thanks for sharing! Great points and some common reservations. These are all ideas that one must grapple with as they begin a problem based lesson journey which will vary from grade to grade, concept to concept.

  • Breanna Greer

    December 13, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    This lesson style: Students will become better at problem solving and communicating their ideas mathematically. More focused on engagement and understanding. Sense of discovery from the students.

    Fears: Students may get off task. Pacing. Flexibility.

    Traditional lessons: lead to more open ended questions. Focuses on what teacher did then students do the same thing.

  • Lisette Poindexter

    January 2, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    This lesson style allows for more exploration into a topic. Instead of a traditional framework where you introduce a topic, walk through it, help them apply a strategy, and then solve problems individually, they will be thinking more conceptually about a situation using prior knowledge.

  • Kerri Brodie

    January 12, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    This lesson style is different from the typical math lesson in that there is a lot less direction from the teacher and students are exploring and talking. It is giving students a chance to explore and share ideas. This is so important because students need to talk and discuss to learn!

    I have noticed that my students this year are less talkative and I have to really coax them into sharing their thoughts in class. I think this is because they got so used to not doing that when learning remotely and it makes me so sad and frustrated! I have tried doing some notice and wonder activities with them and it does seem to get them to share a little bit more.

    One thing that makes me nervous about this is time but I think that the benefits outweigh that. I liked how Kyle said you can refer back to the problem to help students remember the math! I think that is so helpful.

    • Kyle Pearce

      January 14, 2022 at 7:08 am

      Definitely a shift in approach for most, but love that you remain open to it! Yes that virtual time as made us move back a few steps, however, we can rebuild that culture of sharing / collaboration! You’ve got this!

  • Stephanie Pritchett

    January 18, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    First of all the lesson was engaging. It was interesting and it did make me curious. What I loved was helping student to estimate and to help them get riskier by trying to bring estimates to reasonable amounts. That in itself was engaging and then to take off with improve your prediction using math you know. It made is a personal quest for each student to engage it and it was doable for anyone. Traditional lessons usually are just do as I do and we are going to get an answer that you and I really are not invested in.

    My reservations is practice in consolidation and understanding the different methods my students may use. I’m also worried that my students that struggle are so not uses to thinking that they won’t know how to start without an idea from me.

  • Kyle Pearce

    July 3, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Hi there!
    The lesson is modelled through this lesson in the online workshop and a breakdown / summary can be found here:

    Chocolate Mania [3 Act Task]

    While we do not have that particular lesson crafted into a full unit like we have been building out in our PBL lesson area (https://learn.makemathmoments.com/tasks) checking out the flow of our 30+ problem based units and the teacher guides will help you put the curiosity path into play with those units as well as build the confidence / skills to apply them to other lessons as well.
    Have a look and let us know where you are struggling.

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