Lesson

# Clip 20/24: Proportions Debrief - Part C

## Overview

In this clip, Linda Fisher invites the observing teachers to share their insights into the re-engagement lesson. Each teacher was asked to observe a pair of students in the fifth grade classroom during the Public Lesson.

## Teacher Commentary

HILLARY LEWIS-WOLFSEN: The observing teachers were all from our school, Forest Park. They represented grades 1-6, as well as both administrators and a long-term substitute (who was hired on full time for our site the following school year). This was the first lesson study experience for most of the people there. As a result of this experience, we have a lesson study team based at Forest Park this year.

LINDA FISHER: In my years teaching mathematics, I've learned that kids need to have their misconceptions confronted head-on. With re-engagement, we thought, let’s take that and pose them as dilemmas for kids to think about – get them talking about why some of these common things don’t make sense. That way, we can bring a focus on the mathematics and the concept, rather than solely on the solution and the answer.

When I work with teachers, they want to know what to do in terms of remediation. Teachers usually confront student mistakes by going back to a clean slate and start at ground zero. But there’s something profoundly different about reteaching than teaching it for the first time. When you go back to do a re-teaching leson, you don’t want to start as if people have never learned things. You want to get students to let go of why what they’re doing doesn’t work. Teachers need to find a way in to facilitating the conversation, to helping students see why what they’re doing doesn’t work. That’s one kind of reengagement: having kids reach the conclusions.

One of the critical things is that kids have a lot of mathematical ideas that teachers don’t see. My “hidden” agenda is to get teachers to be able to read student work and make sense of what they’re not understanding. Everyone with the wrong answer doesn’t need the same kind of help. In learning to classify student errors, we want teachers to tease out what are the different kinds of help, and why are they different, because they’re based on different mathematical ideas.