In this clip, Linda Fisher, Carolyn Dobson, and Hillary LewisLewis-Wolfsen discuss how they prioritized which problems to spend time on during the re-engagement lesson.

5th Grade Math - Proportions & Ratios*Hillary Lewis-Wolfsen, Forest Park Elementary School, Fremont Unified School District, Fremont, California*

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LINDA FISHER: Okay. Um. I was really interested when I was listening to you plan, because you talked about spending a lot of time on the first question, where kids were supposed to be thinking about 6/9ths and 2/3rds. You said something to the effect that even though this was really easy, you wanted kids to still spend a lot of time on it, and you had some really good logic for that. Can you tell us about why you thought it was important to spend time on this piece?

HILLARY LEWIS-WOLFSEN: Kids have been taught fractions and procedures, and how to deal with fractions. But they don’t always understand the parts of the fraction, and what the parts of the fraction, and how they relate to the diagram that we’re looking at.

CAROLYN DOBSON: It’s like the mathematics really comes out of real life. So here’s a real-life situation: where is the equivalent fraction in there? How can you look at it and see that these two fractions are really equivalent?

HILLARY LEWIS-WOLFSEN: Mmm hmm. (nodding)

LINDA FISHER: Okay. Good. So is there anything else that you just want to share about the lesson, or what you want us to observe for as we watch the lesson?

CAROLYN DOBSON: I think that the main thing is: do we see the kids really enjoying it? Are they excited about discussing the mathematics and the different ways of thinking?

HILLARY LEWIS-WOLFSEN: It’s a re-engagement. Are they engaged in an assessment that they’ve already done, and in their opinion, they’re done with it! Can we re-engage them in that?

LINDA FISHER: And then I think it was something about—you know, we have different levels of learners. So will some of the students who didn’t do well learn some new strategies, but also, will students who maybe got the correct answers maybe get some new insights into what they’re looking at?

CAROLYN DOBSON: Exactly.

HILLARY LEWIS-WOLFSEN: yes.

LINDA FISHER: We were working to identify the "story of the task" related to this candies assessment, and that drives our selection of particular student responses.

The story of the task relates to—what is the story that relates to you, that you want to get across to the kids. Kids need to have discussions and opportunities to put numbers on diagrams for themselves, rather than just being given numbers. The cognitive demand is for them to be working on the mathematical task. With some other problems, the story of the task is—most people couldn’t do it, but what strategies were successful for the few? It's so worthwhile, if you think in-depth on one problem, it starts to affect moment-to-moment thinking on other things in the classroom. It develops a lens that starts to become automatic in other things that you do.