Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Where was admin?

I had a beautiful conversation erupt during math time today.

Here was the problem:

They were solving with a partial products array (they're not quite ready for traditional or standard algorithms for multiplication) and a very loud, very passionate conversation erupted.  One student argued that having the "zero tens" row in the second factor (409) wasn't necessary.  Another passionately disagreed.  

Soon, I lost the whole class to this beautiful, loud conversation about if zero is a value or simply a place holder.  

Did it need to be represented? 

Could it be skipped? Always?

I reeled them back in after about five minutes of debate, much to the horror of the original instigators who hadn't successfully defended their perspectives.

What a beautiful, natural example of the math practices coming to life.

Now, where was admin?! That would have been a lovely example of math discourse in the classroom for my end of year evaluation.

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