Have I talked about 3 Act Math Tasks yet? I've been using them for a couple of years now, and I absolutely adore using them! I first heard about them from a colleague who recommended Dan Meyer's videos. Watch the video below to learn about how Dan Meyer creates these tasks and why. (If the video is not displayed below, please click here.)
There are many 3 Act Math Task sites found online. Here are some to check out:
* Dan Meyer
* Graham Fletcher
Today I was looking today for a video that I wanted to use with a group of Grade 7 students who have recently learned how to add fractions with unlike denominators. I couldn't find one that I really liked, so I made my own! I'm so pleased with myself. :)
Here's how I plan to use this resource with this class.
1. Show the video. Here it is!!!! Starring my hand and my husband Trevor's hand. If the video is not displayed below, please click here.
2. Next I hand out a worksheet and ask the students to watch the video again, this time recording what they see/think and what they wonder. You can download the file below by clicking on the link. (Here is a link to another similar page that was created by G. Fletchy: click here for Grade 4+ version. I've used both, and like them.)
3. Ask students to turn and talk with a partner and share their ideas. After a minute or so, ask pairs of students to share what they talked about. Record this on the whiteboard or chart paper. The teacher is looking for a specific question (in the case above, the question I want them to solve is, "How much pop was consumed?"). If the question is not asked (I've had this happen only once so far), I just say that I was wondering something too. However you do this, decide on the specific question you want and say that is what we will be solving today.
4. The next step is to ask the students if they are ready to solve the problem. In this case, students cannot solve the problem unless they know how much pop was in the can, or at least what amount of pop is left in the glasses. That's where Act 2 comes in. Show them these two images:
5. Next ask students to look at the next section on the worksheet. Ask them to give a number that they estimate is TOO LOW. Write this in the first box. Then ask for an estimate that is TOO HIGH and write this in the last box. Turn and talk with a partner. Then give an estimate in between those two boxes that they feel is close to the correct answer. (I call this the Goldilocks protocol.)
6. Now ask the students to turn over their paper and begin working out the solution. Do not give them enough time to solve it all the way through. You just want each student to have an entry point to solving it.
7. The students will now work with a partner to solve the problem. I try to partner up students with similar strategies, or similar skill levels. They get a large sheet of paper (I like legal size, or 11 x 14) and markers. I don't allow them to use pencils because I want to see their errors, and I want them to discuss their errors.
8. Students have time to work through the problem. If students finish early I ask them to practice what they are going to say when they present their solution to the rest of the class.
9. Students will now be called upon to present their solutions. I don't always ask every group to present, but I definitely want to show the class that there are many ways to solve this problem, and some strategies are more efficient than others. I ask students who are not finished to share sometimes - they just share what they've completed up to this point, and then say that they ran out of time. Step 9 is an extremely important step. I will have worked out ahead of time the different strategies I think students may use to approach this problem, and when I see them, I want those groups to present. I am also looking for misconceptions and want to address these with the whole class as well.
10. The last act of the 3 Act Task is to show the answer. I actually often don't get to this step, as we've already determined through sharing what the answer is. In case you want to use it, here's one for the task above:
I do want the students to convert the improper fraction to a mixed number however, so I'm not sure I would use this picture.
I highly recommend using 3 Act Math Tasks in your classroom. I have used them in classes from Gr. 1 to Grade 8. Love them!
(Just FYI, in case you also want to make your own 3 Act Math Tasks, the picture above with the fractions included was created using the app Skitch, and the picture on the left is a screenshot of the app PhotoMath. Both apps are currently free. I used my iPad for all of the images and video.)
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher