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5th Grade Math – Decimal Place Value

Clip 24/29: Day 2: Decimal Post-Lesson Debrief Part B


Mia Buljan and Erika Isomura discuss traditional approaches to explaining and practicing mathematical concepts, which don’t serve to address students’ struggles.

Erika describes her rationale for supporting two students’ diving in to their struggle. She notes that “students remember stories,” so she can use the stories to help students make sense of a struggle and a problem. She describes her work with two students who were struggling with 3/100, in which the students were unsure whether to divide 100 by 3 or to divide 3 into 100 pieces.

Mia comments that the students struggled with getting the content clear. Erika notes that her wanting students to persevere through uncertainty is in tension with her needing to give them a particular procedure.

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