Thursday, February 20, 2014

Math Workshop Series: The Three Part Lesson

I know I have been MIA lately and I apologize...but with a 3 month old baby, a three year-old daughter and an online course things have been just a little busy! But I promise you that I have forgotten about my Math Workshop Series and I am back with some new learning from my course.

Today we will be looking at the Three-Part Lesson. In my opinion this is the best way to teach a whole class lesson in order to capture the interest of your students. There is a ton of research out there on the Three-Part Lesson and it's something we've been looking at quite deeply in my online math course. 

The basic gist of the three-part lesson is this:

Minds-On: A hook to grab your students' attention, a chance to revisit a previously learned concept, an opportunity to get your students thinking about the concept they will be working with during the lesson. Essentially, this is the time to activate your students' brains!

Working On It/ Activation/ Problem Solving: This is the biggest part of your lesson and it will be where your students are most actively involved in solving a problem. Students will most likely be working in pairs or small groups during this time and should be given the freedom to choose their own strategies in order to solve the problem you have presented them with, however, it will be up to whether you are using an open-ended problem, open-rooted problem or a parallel task. 

Consolidation/ Debrief: The class will gather together in order to discuss the problem that was solved, the learning that took place and the big ideas about math that can be taken away from the lesson. This is also where you may choose to use the bansho method of sharing ideas. 


As part of my course we had to read this article and it was amazing!! It outlines the constructivist theory of teaching mathematics and really helped me cement in my own mind the importance of teaching through problem solving. It's definitely a must read!

I would love to hear about any experiences you've had using the three-part lesson in your own classes, or questions you have about it. I am hoping to get some sample lesson plans up soon and a three-part lesson template. 

2 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Anonymous said...

This concept sounds great and I appreciate all the efforts you have taken to share. But, I am having trouble envisioning using this every day. I guess I need to see a sample lesson to understand the type of "problem" the students are trying to solve during each lesson. I very much look forward to future posts!

Beth said...

Anonymous- Once you try'll love it! I've put up a new post with an example for you to see.

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