This lesson explores both math and science concepts as it scaffolds up from student observations of patterns to exponential function notation.
MathMemos is a teacher space where adult educators share rich math problems, samples of student work, and practical suggestions for bringing the problems to life in the classroom. All math problems are:
(1) Open-ended, meaning that it might have more than one answer or there may be multiple solution pathways to solve the problem.
(2) The prompt does not clearly direct the students towards a procedural pathway in solving the problem.
(3) Students should be able to struggle productively with the problem for an extended period of time: they are student driven.
The problems include and integrate a wide range of math content and topics such as: Algebra, Geometry, Functions, Number & Quantity, and Statistics & Probability. You can also search for specific topics (fractions, systems of equations, equality) or problem solving strategies (guess & check, charts & tables, visual strategies, manipulatives).
The resources is designed so that teachers can be thoroughly connected to a problem before taking it into the classroom, by solving it themselves and looking at samples of student work that other teachers have posted online. Then, teachers are encouraged to reflect on how the problem played out in their own classroom and post their reflections.
This collection is an ongoing project with new problems being added as teachers submit new write-ups.
A PD Module is available for Professional Developers.
MathMemos was created by Tyler Holzer with a grant from the New York State Education Department Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services.
Adult education classrooms are commonly comprised of learners who have widely disparate levels of mathematical problem-solving skills. This is true regardless of what level a student may be assessed at when entering an adult education program or what level class they are placed in. Providing students with differentiated instruction in the form of Push and Support cards is one way to level this imbalance, keeping all students engaged in one high-cognitive task that supports and encourages learners who are stuck, while at the same time, providing extensions for students who move through the initial phase of the task quickly. Thus, all
students are continually moving forward during the activity, and when the task ends, all students have made progress in their journey towards developing conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas along with a productive disposition, belief in one’s own ability to successfully engage with mathematics.
This is a powerful way to launch multiple types of lessons that is student-centered and spans all educational levels. It starts with two simple questions that you ask students as you show them a video, image, math situation, or just about anything you can think of that's visual. It serves as a formative assessment in that it helps teachers to understand what students already know and what they wonder about what they are seeing. This is a non-intimidating way for students to begin a lesson as there are no wrong answers: only observations and questions: that students take ownership of. This resource contains an overview of notice/wonder and a step-by-step guide for teachers. Be sure to watch the short video that's included in this resource!