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


  • Lesson 5-5: Question

     Jon Orr updated 1 month, 1 week ago 34 Members · 46 Posts
  • Jon Orr

    May 1, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Take this time to reflect on your learning from this lesson. How might you use the information presented here in your lessons this week? Post any comments, questions, and reflections here.

  • John Gaspari

    February 21, 2021 at 11:59 am

    A reflection from this lesson is when I have been working with my random groups this past couple of weeks, I have also noticed that certain groups needed more support. I could see that the struggle was beginning to create frustration and if I didn’t step in then they probably would have given up on the task since they couldn’t come up with a strategy. I had to work and keep an eye on these groups even if other groups were asking for help (i.e. how to progress with their strategy, whether their work is correct, what’s the next question). As suggested by Peter Liljedahl, I need to teach students to not rely on me solely but to use other groups to help when they are struggling. Since it so new to my class that I have changed the dynamics of my classroom to a “thinking classroom”, I still need to remind my students that it is ok to look at and question other groups’ strategies.

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 26, 2021 at 6:29 am

      Great thinking here. And, just by using that strategy, you were able to quickly assess which groups were rolling along and which groups were not progressing.

      Asking purposeful questions is so helpful as you circulate the room to help nudge each group along starting from where they are currently at…

  • Maryanna Biedermann

    February 24, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    “During moves” with in person and remote simultaneously is challenging; getting from one breakout to another in order to encourage and question to avoid frustration is time consuming and glitchy. Tomorrow I am hoping that I can use Jamboard to support the during moves. There is no questions that more dedication to anticipating student representations will prepare me better for the sequencing of the concept and keep me thinking about the big idea

    • Kyle Pearce

      February 26, 2021 at 6:31 am

      This is definitely a major challenge for remote learning. I was using break out rooms yesterday and the part I struggle with is not having any way of also monitoring what students in other rooms are doing. In a classroom, you can hear background noise and get a sense of who is where …

  • Scott McNutt

    March 3, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    The big takeaway is that with the proper use of the 5 Practices, you will be exhausted by the end of the day. This is a good thing because you constantly move, interact with, and assess student understanding with the problem-based lesson. At the same time, doing the physical movements, we need to take student strategies and sequence them in a logical format for students to present to their peers. I guess my days of sitting behind the desk and reading the newspaper are over (That is a joke, no one reads a newspaper anymore) Seriously though, Peggy Smith has a utopian vision of a math classroom, and using her 5 practices effectively, we can experience a thinking classroom that will have students driving a rich mathematical discussion. The culture aspect trips me up because preconceived family notions of math are nowhere close to a classroom that uses the five practices. So, in the end, it may seem like we are not doing our job.

    • Jon Orr

      March 4, 2021 at 6:10 am

      I’m definitely more tired by the end of the day when teaching this way and I don’t think I’ve sat at my desk for long stretches in years! I’m ok with that as the benefits of students doing actual thinking in my classroom is more worthwhile! After doing this for years I’ve never had parents or kids question that I’m not doing my job (because of those preconceived notions). Having confidence in what choices you make in the learning structure helps with that. If students can sense that a teacher is unsure then those students feel that their learning will be in jeopardy –> they then head home to communicate that to their parents.

      Communicating regularly to your students that this structure is good for learning and that’s why we’re here will go a long way in changing their beliefs! Check out this Live Q & A session we did about parental push back. https://learn.makemathmoments.com/lessons/how-do-you-handle-push-back-from-parents/

      How do you handle push back from parents?


    March 15, 2021 at 9:36 am

    One thing that stands out to me is the monitoring. It reminds me that even great lessons need some motivation guidence. Your comment “Johnny, take the pencil out of your ear” reminds me that I am ok if I have some students off task. I always put it on my planning, but I know that even great teachers have the off-taks behavior and it not a refferendum on my teaching. It just requires some more strategic monitoing. I also like the standing white boards with random groups. It is a great idea and a great place to monitor, sequence and connect with students. During the pandemic, this is harder, but one thing I see a big value add for when we return and something I think I can leverage well.

    Last, I have noticed my sequencing getting a lot better since starting this course – getting more strategic about using studnet voices to lead to the lesson of the day and not just random sharing.

    • Kyle Pearce

      March 16, 2021 at 7:00 am

      Ha! So true about the pressure we put on ourselves for 100% engagement. While that is always the aim, there are likely always going to be a few students who need additional support for redirection.

      Glad to hear your selecting and sequencing is improving! Keep up the great work!

  • Selena Gallagher

    March 22, 2021 at 8:31 am

    One thing that particularly stands out to me is the need to be more strategic when selecting students or groups to share. I have typically relied on volunteers, which doesn’t allow for much control over sequencing. Currently I work with enrichment groups for just one lesson once a week, so it is difficult to build up those expectations for the thinking classroom, although those are messages that I try to reinforce frequently. Definitely lots of food for thought here.

    • Kyle Pearce

      March 23, 2021 at 6:22 am

      Definitely more challenging when you’re working with groups less often, but still worth focusing some energy on. Keep us posted on how that goes!

  • Michelle Grebe

    April 11, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I’m wondering, if some of the groups need quite a bit of monitoring, how do you find the time to select and sequence? I’m imagining wishing to replicate myself.

    I see the value of being well prepared with anticipating student answers to help the monitoring and selecting stage flow better.

    As a candidate teacher who hasn’t taught much math yet, I find the anticipation phase difficult too. Does that come with time?

    • Kyle Pearce

      April 12, 2021 at 6:12 am

      Anticipating is something that one must develop. Participating in PD like this and simply teaching will help you here. I know that when I teach a lesson for the first time I am amazed at how many different ideas come out than I originally anticipated.

      As for cloning yourself – I think we all wish that! That is where problem based lessons are used more for you to circulate and not for working with a small group for any extended period of time. On purposeful practice days where you do say a math talk then give students an opportunity to dive deeper into an idea, you can pull small groups to spend more time with those who might need your support.

  • Laura Las Heras Ruiz

    April 20, 2021 at 7:18 am

    It’s great , once I decided to make students talk about their own strategies. I found the web https://www.map.mathshell.org/lessons.php and I begin to follow their lessons. So I realize that I was not working well just letting all the groups explain their strategy. So thought i will just let explain some groups. But is difficult for me that the others listen attentively when the others explain their strategies. A new step that i will introduce thanks of your lessons is that I will make groups explain their thinking from the one that is more concrete to the one who is more abstract.

    The other question is the space of the room and the position of the tables. In my High school all the teachers wants the tables to be watching the interactive-board. It is a distraction and a miss of time to put the tables in groups and let the tables in arrays every time. I will let you see what it looks like one of my classes.

    • Kyle Pearce

      April 21, 2021 at 6:35 am

      Defronting the classroom can be super helpful. Not only does it imply that lessons will be more student centred than teacher centred, but it also ensures that students are able to work in groups more collaboratively.

  • Jeremiah Barrett

    June 8, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    The “During Moves” that I am utilizing most after this module are Monitoring, Selecting, and Connecting. Monitoring students mathematical thinking is helping me get better at anticipating what approach students may try in future lessons. Monitoring also leads me into selecting, where I choose the student solutions that I want the rest of the class to be part of because I think that they have value that will benefit all. Lastly, I like to connect these solutions to other students work and the learning goal.


      June 9, 2021 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Jeremiah, I have to agree with you that Anticipating does not need to be done formally if I already understand the content and understand the many solution paths as a teacher. My main problem as a teacher is having enough prep time and getting out of school early enough to get back to family time–so I think Anticipating can be cut (at least formally, though it might not hurt to mentally visualize all the possible solution paths before class in order to prime my mind so I can better monitor and select).

      Anyway, definitely do Sequencing!! Going from most concrete to most abstract is an awesome sequence that leads to great Connections!

      • Kyle Pearce

        June 10, 2021 at 6:55 am

        I’d agree that all of those steps do not necessarily require the same amount of time commitment. However, when thinking about anticipating, one of the most challenging parts (in my opinion) is thinking of what students might do. Although I understand the concept, do I understand how a student (especially a student who is early on in their developmental continuum) will approach a problem?
        That said, I completely understand that there is a lot for educators to do daily and that we sometimes can’t commit as much time as we might like to each step.

  • Gerilyn Stolberg

    June 28, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Monitoring is where I always struggle- I never know how much information to give to the groups that are not working. I find myself staying with that group that is stuck for too long and then giving them a strategy. I really need to work on my questioning and feedback skills. I like the idea that not every group needs to share- but what happens when everyone uses the same strategy and it is not the most reasonable or efficient strategy. Do I then share the strategy or do I try again the next day with another problem?

  • Anthony Waslaske

    July 1, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    I’m still out for the summer, so I lack classroom experience with these tasks. I think anticipating strategies will be the difficult part because I tend toward the abstract when I solve problems on my own. This is my first go with a project-based lesson, so I am unfortunately not used to seeing other strategies other than my own. So I am thinking anticipating those strategies will be difficult and identifying the strategies students are using when I monitor the room. I plan on partnering with one of the 6th-grade teachers in my building to build my repertoire of strategies.

  • Penny Johansson

    July 2, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    By thinking of what students come up with for solutions I will be better prepared to respond in class to their thinking. These 5 practices also involve students more into their own learning.

  • Carol King

    July 5, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    I’ve done a little work on this in the past, and it’s been very successful for me when kids are working on the problem individually — I need to transition to small groups. After a long time in the same grade, I’m pretty good at anticipating what solutions will come up, but someone always surprises me with something I didn’t think of!

  • azuka ojini

    July 6, 2021 at 2:37 am

    As the name, DURING MOVE, suggests, I would encourage my students, as they work in groups, to document each stage of their struggle and share each stage with me, and in addition to materials I gathered while monitoring, to support my selecting exercise, I would mediate them to allow smooth sequencing of the groups work.

    In my final presentation, the students will see their contributions on display and can make the connection with the materials collected from different groups.

    • Kyle Pearce

      July 6, 2021 at 6:57 am

      Fantastic! I’m sure students enjoy seeing their thinking highlighted as you make connections across representations.

  • Karynn Faivre

    July 9, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    What stands out is that you created groups of 2 and still can manage to get to all students. I like that you acknowledged that some students are making progress on their own without you needing to monitor them as closely. I need to remind myself that I am not there to rescue struggling students, just to prod them enough to try something else out. I find that groups who have struggled in the past relied on my to explain to them how to go about solving the problem. I would prompt them with questions, but was always thinking of one specific method for solving. After considering the different solutions, I can request that students who have answered the question show me what it would look like given a different representation. In the past I have asked groups to consider a different way to solve the problem. Because they answered my question, they would balk because they already had the solution. These moves are much more about the process and the connections and not the solution.

  • Terri Bond

    July 10, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    I often have students work with partners or small groups to solve a problem, and then share solutions to the class. However, I had not thought about the sequencing when they share their solutions. I usually allow volunteering instead, but not any longer! When I select the sequence, it sets up the expectation that anyone and everyone will share, not just volunteers!

    Also, it does make sense to have students with more concrete solutions share first, followed by representational solutions, and having the more abstract solutions shown last.

    I can see how this sequence will honor the thinking of the students who are at the concrete stage because the first thing shown isn’t the “hardest way,” which might be over their heads. They could likely shut down right away, and then try to hide their solution, thinking it wasn’t sophisticated enough, or wasn’t what I was “looking for.”

    Plus, if the concrete solution kids share first, then see a representational one, it might help them make their way to that next stage.

    Likewise, if the representational solvers go next, they will see the abstract after them, which might help them bridge to the next stage as well.

    I think the most powerful part of the lesson is the CONNECTING. It lets students see how their solutions are similar and different from others. I like to put two partner sets together who have very different strategies, and ask them to explain their solutions to one another. I have been known to spend too much time on this part!

  • Lori Plate

    July 11, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    I can see myself struggling with the monitoring practice more than the others. I understand the importance of working with the groups that are struggling and near the point of giving up, but what do you do if most, if not all, groups are not attempting anything? In previous years, at the same school I will be returning to this fall, even the groups with students who showed more skill and reasoning would not put anything down for fear of it being incorrect, even when I stressed that I was looking for effort. They were frequently reminded that if they don’t attempt anything, I can’t know where they are at and how to move them forward.

    • Jon Orr

      July 14, 2021 at 7:07 am

      @lori.plate are your students in groups? or working vertically (standing) around the room? When I made this change it allowed groups to view other students work and get ideas on how to start. It cleared up most of the issues with students not starting anything. If they still have trouble accessing …then maybe the task wasn’t low floor enough, or we might need to give them a quick hint to prompt them.

  • Lisamarie Barnes

    July 13, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    During my first year teaching, I was pretty good at monitoring my students during the “we do” stage. Since I was so new to teaching, I pre-worked all the examples and graded work (anticipating multiple strategies other than my own would have better prepared me to provide productive feedback). At the end of the “we do” I only called on groups that raised their hands and/or called on all groups to share out…no wonder my students showed signs of confusion/boredom! (I could have prevented this by strategically selecting and sequencing.) For my second year teaching, I am moving to first grade. In order to apply the 5 Practices to increase student buy-in and cultivate a love for math I need to meet with the Kindergarten teachers to determine what my new students have already learned (this will better prepare me to anticipate how they may approach problem-solving.

  • Jennifer Maher

    July 14, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    This is a shift I made with my summer school kids:

    I would select and sequence groups for sharing, and I would have the group share their strategies and solutions.

    But this summer I started selecting and sequencing the groups for sharing and instead of letting that group talk about their work, I asked the rest of the class what they noticed, what stood out to them, how was it similar to the first group’s representation. The group that created the work had to wait until the rest of the class talked about the work, and could only add on if there was something else they thought needed to be added to the conversation.

    • Catherine Guida

      July 16, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      I love this idea of having other groups comment on the solution. Nice plan

  • Linda Andres

    July 25, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Watching this video helped me understand the anticipation template better and see how it can be an effective tool in my class. We still have more than a month before school starts but I can see how these steps will change our math talks and investigations.

  • Betsy Lesley

    July 25, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Monitoring and helping my students make connections are 2 strategies that I use frequently, but selecting & sequencing are 2 that I will now add to my toolbox. Thanks!

  • Holly Dybvig

    July 25, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    After watching this module and seeing how the groups or students are selected the anticipation part made a little more sense. I always talk about what I anticipate during our PLC meetings, but I didn’t have a way of organizing this information until now. This seems to go long with the stages of expertise and will help track what level the students are at according to how I anticipate they will see and complete the problems.

  • Betsy Murphy

    August 2, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    I really enjoyed seeing the 5 practices laid out so clearly. I feel I do most of these most of the time, but I know I can be better with the anticipating. I enjoy sharing student strategies especially creative thinking or unique methods, it is always refreshing to have students open my eyes to new ideas. I loved this lesson, made some good notes for myself, things to keep in mind and push myself to do more often!

  • Velia Kearns

    August 8, 2021 at 10:20 am

    I made a connection during the video for the purpose of the solution anticipation. This was to see who came up with that solution. I hadn’t made that connection.

    Then the nice flow of that would be that their group could explain their solution, because we know that it was a valid way – we had even planned for it.

    Thank you for that – it was a light bulb that turned on.

  • Mary Herbst

    August 9, 2021 at 8:31 am

    The selecting/sequencing tasks seem so critical to me – I am embarrassed to say that I don’t think I ever thought of it in this manner. Frequently I’d rely on volunteers and any and all would get to share. This led to a varied order and was not always as helpful as it could be. I think another habit we can get in is to go first to the student who you know “got it” in a desired way, but this discounts all of the other strategies.

  • Jenn Stuart

    August 9, 2021 at 9:07 am

    My biggest takeaway is to come up with all the possible strategies then have space for new ones. I like the section with the student’s names. Seems like a little thing but allows for quick notes for new pathways.

  • Vanessa Weske

    August 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    This is a question that is super relevant to me right now! It is the first week of school currently. There is so much teachers put in to setup their students for year-long success right at the beginning. Something I have noticed, that is very common, is teachers are afraid to lean into tasks and slow them down so that students can share work and learn from one another. So often once one student solves the problem that is the solution that is presented whole-class and then suddenly work time and the discussion portion are over! Anticipation is a step that is so important but many teachers will skip if they don’t have enough time. Even so, monitoring student solutions during work time can then reveal student thinking if the teacher isn’t afraid to literally lean in. One of my favorites of the 5 practices is the “selecting” process as sequencing is important and as said, a lot of teachers will stop after having one student/group present the solution method that the teacher themself is probably the most comfortable with. Connecting is tricky as the teacher much challenge the students to make and then share those connections themselves.

    • Jeff Harvey

      August 17, 2021 at 11:51 am

      I like your insights here regarding “leaning” into the task and slowing it down. That is a big shift for many and requires a lot of observation/monitoring and awareness about what is happening in the room. In the end it should come back to being aware of how all the students are doing related to the big ideas of the lesson.

      I agree, how teachers support the connecting of ideas for the students is an important aspect of the lesson. Asking the write question, or allowing the right discussion to happen can make this happen, but it is a skill that needs to be practiced.

  • Denny Nelson

    August 18, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    Some of what I heard here includes:

    During the class monitor the students and in particular keep off task students on task. You don’t need to spend as much time with students that are actually thinking and on task.

    When selecting student work don’t repeat student work that is similar. Pick one of each different kind of approach. Think carefully about how to present. For example you might start with the most common responses first. Another approach would be to focus on the more concrete representations first and finishing with the most abstract representations.

    Finally, how I connect the student work and representations to the overall teaching goals for the day is important. I’m going to have to look at this part more because I don’t think I have as good a handle on what I want to do with the last of these 5 steps.

  • Peggy Allen

    August 28, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    As I mentioned in the previous lesson, I find it difficult for some learning goals to find the different strategies students will use. I know that it is important to be aware of the various ways students will solve problems. One size does not fit all. I need to put more effort into this recognition and not just fall back to my comfort zone for a bank of answers. Having students share their solutions is necessary for others to see the progression toward our intended learning goal as you mentioned in the video. Unfortunately, I have not been great on the selecting and sequencing moves. I tend to show any solutions that students offer which tend to be those used by the majority of students; however, if there is/are unique responses, I want to get them out there as well but they are not always the ones that I end with. Once again, I have learned something new.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  Peggy Allen.
    • Kyle Pearce

      August 30, 2021 at 9:23 am

      Definitely takes time to build these skills. Trying the task a few different ways is helpful plus working with colleagues can also emerge ideas you wouldn’t have considered yourself.

  • Serina Signorello

    September 7, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Last year when I implemented tasks and created my own tasks, I was missing some of these vital pieces. With 35 minute periods, I was not afforded enough time to review and discuss in a large group. I am very excited to try these out this year especially with my 52 minute periods. One challenge I foresee is spending too much time with a particular group, I think incorporating Peter Liljedahl’s idea of borrowing an idea from another group may help or walking away, but it’s easier said than done. It will certainly be a challenge to let them struggle but I am going to do my best to bite my tongue and let them do the work. When moving to practice, do you usually give extensions or entirely new problems?

    • Jon Orr

      September 8, 2021 at 6:24 am

      @Serina Good reflections here and next steps for your group work. We try to extend the context but if it feels right or the students are ready we will give out a new context.

Viewing 1 - 30 of 30 replies

Original Post
0 of 0 posts June 2018