Alex Fafara
Section 05
10/17/11
Problem 104.
Evaluate the quality of strategy use in these conversations from a 7
th
grade
mathematics class.
Scenario #1
A
I got 30.
How about you?
D
I got the same.
B
No, it’s minus 30.
You have to write the minus six on this side.
C
I don’t see how you got that.
D
I made the same mistake.
I had a minus on this side, and then to take away that minus, you want to
multiply both sides by a minus, and that will end up with a minus on this side, and a plus on that side.
C
OK. I see.
Scenario #2
D
I don’t see what to do with the x.
C
All right.
You want to get the x all by itself on the right side.
Like this.
[Writes on D’s paper.]
Then you divide by 2.
You do that because 2 divided by 2 gives you 1, and you want to get just one x
on the right side.
D
So, you subtract 5 from both sides to get x all alone. OK.
The quality of strategy use in Scenario #2 was much, much better than the quality in strategy #1.
In
Scenario #1, Student A dives right in without using any strategies, just giving his or her classmates the
answer that he or she came to.
D follows up saying that he or she got the same.
None are trying to
explain their thinking, or looking for reasoning. When student C pipes up that he or she doesn’t
understand, Student D realizes his or her mistake, and knows how to correct it, so student D explains to
the group what the mistake was and how to fix it.
This is good, but C doesn’t respond in a way to prove
that C understands, therefore negating much of the usefulness of D’s work.
In Scenario #2 however, students C and D have a great strategy flow. Student D immediately brings up
that he or she does not know what to do. Student C gives Student D a stepbystep process of how to solve
the question, while also explaining why to do those steps.
This helps student D understand, and we can
see that it helps student D understand because he or she voices aloud what he or she is thinking. This is a
much more powerful showing of strategy use to help learning than Scenario #1.
Problem 105. Evaluate these group interactions.
Choose 1 of the 2 problems below to answer (A or B).
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 Fall '11
 Chinn
 Sally

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