Problem Solving Like Pros

So I teach a class called college prep math, and the first semester is all about problem solving. We spent two weeks doing juicy, rich tasks (a few that I got from @henripicciotto, and some others that I created). I’m pumped that all of the group work norms that I’ve set have been fully embraced by the students: delegation, Christian courtesy, and meaningful feedback.

Today we had a break through: they learned how to create annotated solutions that are beautiful. I created some exemplars of solutions to a particular problem, and the students assessed it versus the problem solving rubric that I gave them. Their solutions to the other problems that we worked today were simply stunning. Hallelujah for exemplars and clear rubrics.


2 thoughts on “Problem Solving Like Pros

  1. “Christian courtesy” has implications that you may want to think about. If you’re teaching in a parochial school, that may fly there. But my courtesy comes from caring about others, not from my religion. And it reinforces the notion you and your students may have that Christianity is somehow superior.

    • Thanks for the reply. We are a Christian school, and that phrase “Christian courtesy” comes from an quotation from the founder of the school, so I’m just reinforcing the school’s values and language. However, I totally agree, you don’t have to be Christian to be courteous or to value courtesy. I’m also not saying that the flavor of “Christian” courtesy is superior to the courtesy expressed by people of other religions. However, I will say that our guide of how to be courteous comes from the teachings of Christianity. I didn’t mean to step on any toes–it’s just the language that we use at my school.

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