Sometimes the best teaching moments detour from the lesson plan.
We had this Engage NY activity sheet to give:
3 problems. The time slated for this independent practice was ten minutes, then they were to go work independently in a textbook that's older than them.
That's not what we did.
I had them work collaboratively at their table teams. I had them include written explanations of their thinking and justify their answers. I had them show their work multiple ways. It got a tad noisy, but they were all engaged. It's amazing how the simple act of giving them markers and butcher paper turns an otherwise mundane activity into a lively discussion and collaborative activity.
When they were done, I had them do a gallery walk and critique the other groups' presentations, thus highlighting math practice #3.
Did this activity take way longer than it was slated to? Yes (but it still fit within our math block). Did they gain so much more from one another than they would have by silently working then going over the answers? Yes.
Was it worth detouring from my lesson plan? Absolutely.