Problems of the Month - Video Examples

Anna Yates School launched their schoolwide conversations about mathematics teaching and learning using the Problems of the Month. In the videos below, you’ll see how classrooms of different grade levels worked separately and together on different levels of the Problem of the Month “Party Time,” which requires logic, deductive reasoning, counting principles/strategies, and a variety of mathematical representations (depending on the grade level) such as tree diagrams, Venn diagrams, tables, charts, and matrices. Teachers and principals describe how they collaborated together on the problem-solving theme at their school, and in the culminating gallery walk students explain their thinking and share what they like about the Problems of the Month.

Yates School is a K-7 school of ~420 students in Emeryville, California. About 50% of their students are African American, 25% Hispanic, 11% Asian, 7% White, and the remaining 1% Pacific Islander, Filipino, and American Indian. 61% of Yates students live in poverty and 12% are English language learners (see http://www.emeryusd.k12.ca.us/sarc).

Principal Lathan on the Professional Learning Community

Principal Jaguanana Lathan describes the orientation of her faculty as a professional learning community as they engage in the Problem of the Month. Their grade-level collaborations support their work.

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Yates Faculty Get Started with the Problem of the Month

The Anna Yates faculty describe how they got started with the Problem of the Month, why they selected "Party Time," and what challenges and strengths their students displayed as they engaged in the problems.

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Kindergarten, “Party Time” Level A

In kindergarten, teacher Audrey Miles engages her students in Level A of the “Party Time” Problem of the Month. In this first level of the Problem of the Month, students determine the number of guests invited to a party through examination of set invites, with guests inviting other sets of guests.

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2nd Grade, “Party Time” Levels A and B

In second grade, teacher Tracy Lewis reviews her students’ work with Level A and orients them to Level B. In Level B, students are asked to determine the number of girls with short red hair at a party given a number of logic clues. The students need to partition a whole using simple fractions (1/2 and 1/4). The students apply logical reasoning to determine the number of red-haired girls at the party.

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4th Grade, “Party Time” Level B

In fourth grade, teacher Staci Carignan engages her students in Level B.

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5th Grade, “Party Time” Levels A and B

In fifth grade, teacher Taheedah Wren launches her students in Party Time and facilitates groups’ work in Levels A and B.

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6th Grade, “Party Time” Levels A-C

In sixth grade, teacher Anthony Rogers introduces the “Party Time” Problem of the Month and facilitates his students’ work with Levels A, B, and C.

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Discussion of Students’ Strengths and Misconceptions

In this debrief, teacher Anthony Rogers identifies students’ strengths and misconceptions that came to light in their work with Party Time.

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Gallery Walk

In this Gallery Walk, students from multiple classrooms describe what they enjoyed about doing the Problem of the Month and explain their thinking to Math Coach Leslie Thornley.

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Gallery Walk Part 1

Gallery Walk Part 2

Gallery Walk Part 3