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4th Grade Math – Classifying Triangles

Clip 14/18: Debrief: Classifying Triangles Part 2

Overview Download Transcript (PDF)

The observing educators share what they noticed about particular students’ insights into the lesson, and the ways that even students who did not share significantly in the whole class still were very engaged. They share suggestions for and appreciations of Hillary Lewis’ questioning approach to advance and deepen students’ understanding.

Teacher Commentary

Hillary Lewis

Those misconceptions, those wrong answers, are not random. They're not just that the kid chose C for every answer they didn't know on a multiple choice test. They put that answer because they had some understanding, but also something that they didn't understand.

Once we address those misconceptions, if we are addressing them as “we don't know who made that misconception,” and the kids are trying to figure out what the misconception is, we're going back to me not telling them how to do it. It's now once again a puzzle, and they're trying to figure out the pattern, what is going on here. When they are trying to figure out the misconception, whether they're the ones with the misconception or not, it's pushing their learning forward. It's helping to strengthen what they already know, and build onto that.

Those students with the misconception, being a part of that conversation of, "Oh! I was the one who did that, and yeah, that is what I thought," whether they say that out loud or not. Sometimes they do say that when they're comfortable and feel safe. They can often go ahead and explain what they were thinking, and where they got mixed up.

The kids who do understand it, it helps them to think more deeply about the topic. When you can think about somebody else's thinking, and get into somebody else's head, and help explain it, that gets them into the problem a little deeper.