First math post of 2013!
I love Math Huddles. It is definitely my favourite way to teach a math concept over the course of a week.
As we transitioned from our data management unit into our geometry unit, I thought it would work well to combine the concepts of sorting using 2-3 attributes with attributes we would be studying about 2D shapes.
First I handed out a bag of attribute blocks to each pair of students and we brainstormed the types of attributes the blocks had. Notice the geometry vocabulary that popped up- all from the students, I swear!
Then I gave students this prompt and let them go. No directions about how to sort, tools to use to sort, etc. Just totally open ended problem solving.
And not surprisingly most students created some type of chart. It was very interesting to see which attributes the students choose and how they organized their chart. At the end of the lesson we debriefed their sorting and created some anecdotals- you can see those written on the cue card in the green marker.
Then over the next few day's lessons I introduced the ideas of sorting using a venn diagram for both 2 and 3 attribute sorting. It took some work and discussion but we got there. Each time I would put up all the work done by all the students and then we would discuss whether their sorting followed the rules we created. If the venn diagram wasn't accurate enough or didn't fit, it was removed from the display. In this way I feel that my students are constantly a part of the creation of their own learning, the display of work in the class and that they see the importance of reviewing your work and making it better if possible.
At the end of the week we listed all of the important ideas or big ideas we had learned. And boy did we learn a lot!