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Week 2: Paired Problem Solving FTW

True, to form, it is has taken me to the end of week 3 to finish my week 2 post...


Tuesday  in Geometry, students learned to use Geogebra while also learning about transformations - prompt here.

Wednesday  in Geometry was spent reviewing for a quiz and writing their own chains of reasoning blog.


Annie       Andrew     Caroline

In algebra, we are spending a lot of time taking questions on homework. Sometimes 10 minutes, which in a 40 minute class, is a significant potion of time.  Interleaved problem sets are harder, which is the point. The reasoning behind mixed over masses practice is that having to go from topic to topic forces the learner to concentrate more. More thinking = more retention. So yes there are lots of questions as they are remembering a lot of different concepts, but the time spent for homework review is  valuable.

I am reading Creating Cultures of Thinking and late last week, right before school started, I read about another method for Paired Problem Solving that both makes students' thinking visible and fosters independence.

Student A: Problem Solver - tells student B how to solve a problem

Student B: Listener/Writer - uses a mini-white board and writes only what the problem solver says to do. Can point out errors but can't provide the solution.

It was a success. After a few rounds, we reflected on what it was like to be the problem solver or the writer. Writers commented that it was difficult to write things they knew was wrong or was approached differently than they would have approached it.

On problem solver commented on how hard it was: "Usually I don't have to think about my homework, I just do it." 

You got to think to learn.