Our routine of going over these problems together and asking questions had lost its purpose. Kids were checked out and weren't engaging in as much math thinking as I wanted them to. This protocol EXTENDED my thinking in new directions. I used "What Makes You Say That" as a sentence stem and asked students to listen carefully to the speaker and to be prepared to ask them a question about their thinking starting with, "What makes you say that..." We did this for two Fridays and I scribed the questions that I heard third and fourth graders asking each other.
Here are some of the questions students asked each other... What makes you say that:
- the total is $28?
- you have to do 50+20?
- you can't use dollar coins? (when calculating the number of coins to make a certain dollar amount.)
- a quarter is worth 25 cents?
- that you had to borrow? (on a subtraction problem.)
A CHALLENGE or PUZZLE that I have is, how do continue to make this routine fresh so that my students continue to think deeply about their thinking? I commented to someone in my group that I anticipate using this routine for a couple of months, then changing it up again. I certainly think my fourth graders will be able to eventually do this routine on their own in small groups on their own. Their is a difference between the responses I got from third graders than the responses I got from fourth graders. The third grade responses were much more literal and followed a pattern of asking the speaker if how they know their answer is correct over and over again. The fourth graders were much better at challenging the speaker and making them really justify their answer. This routine may stay in place for third graders all year, while I may need to step it up for my fourth graders in the spring.