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Middle School: Making Sense of One’s Own and Others’ Learning

Clip 1/10: Day 2: Modeling and engaging students in sense-making


Understanding and Reading Problems: Teacher Patty Ferrant engages middle school learners in reviewing how to read a problem to make sense of it. On the second day of school, she uses a “dot talk” to challenge her students to, as she puts it, “take a risk and communicate to me how they saw the dots arranged,” asking the students questions so that she can model making sense of the problem.

She charges the students who are not sharing to listen attentively and ask questions so that they can make sense.


How do you set an expectation early on that students will engage in sharing their thinking?