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!