Thursday, 15 August 2013

Relational Thinking WIN!!

Today was the first attempt at getting students to visualise their thinking in Minecraft. Some students had a bit of trouble finding the link, they relied on calculating the answer, which is not an incorrect way of doing it, I just had to push them a bit more to try to find the link or relationship. What really blew my mind was the student that came up to me at the end of the lesson and said "I wrote my way of working it out in a book, would you like to read it?" So I headed over to her in-game, she handed me her book and I asked her to come sit beside me in the room and talk me through her thinking.

The discussion and her explanation were so outstanding I had to tell the rest of the class, and even though they had a few minutes of free time they all listened (mostly attentively) to the explanation and could see how that relationship tied the numbers together. The great thing about this students explanation was that it ties in perfectly with the next lesson, at least as a way of getting the students thinking about the links between the numbers and how they can be used to make solving questions easier.

I had to publish that small section of the footage from today straight away, I couldn't wait until I found the time to filter through all the footage that I recorded today.

Here is the video

So tomorrow we explore the relational thinking of subtraction and next week we look into multiplication and division. I was not entirely sure how long it would take the students to complete the tasks I set but it seems that about 45 minutes is right. In the end I decided that I would group the students into groups of no more than 4 and each member of the group would have the same problem to work on for 10-15 minutes and then they would discuss their thought process with the other members of their group. The group then needs to come to an agreement as to the process they would share with the class and build what they need on the centre platform.

After this, each group had to come up the front of the room and explain their process to the rest of the class. After each group we had a discussion about their way of solving it and went over the visual on the board together. One group could not come up with a way to solve the problem except for calculating, so as a class we helped them use some of the other methods that had already been shared.

I am looking forward to seeing how they go tomorrow with subtraction so expect another blog post after that class is finished. Today I also got to run the Neurotransmitter 2.0 map (from a good 12 months ago if you have not read that far back in my blog) and it worked very well, there were some good discussions about the limitations of my models, the students were engaged and having fun while learning.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.

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