I’m reblogging this in response to Sam Shah’s request to write about a favorite open ended problem.
My students do not have much experience with non-routine problems. On occasion they’ve completed complex tasks, but certainly not enough, or a variety, for students to build self-efficacy. I’m trying to change that by living a SMART goal I created for myself. Last Thursday, day 8, I presented a formative lesson designed by the Mathematical Assessment Project.
The problem began: Emily doesn’t trust banks with her money. She has stored $24,000 in one dollar bills under her mattress. The rest of the problem can be seen below. This student’s attempt was typical.
After they worked on the task independently for fifteen minutes, I collected their work. I found myself providing the same feedback over and over. (My handwriting is atrocious. I know. )
As I reviewed their work, I came upon this response:
One or two students thought to estimate the size of a mattress, but their dimensions weren’t reasonable…
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