Sunday, August 4, 2019

Math Workshop: Using 3 Act Tasks

Do your kids like to fly through challenging word problems by just choosing an operation and not slowing down to really think about the problem? This is one of my biggest challenges - getting them to slow down and think. It’s something we work on all year long. 

One tool in my tool belt for getting kids to slow down and stick with a problem is using 3 act tasks as part of our math meeting (we start our math block together on the carpet for about 10 minutes). 

If we want our students to stick with problems, we have to give them problems that are fun to stick with. The 3 act tasks are the kids' favorites because they all start with some sort of engaging video clip or image that gets kids excited, curious and talking. 

I like to spread the 3 act tasks out over the week so that I can keep our math meeting short. 
*Monday - we start with act one and I make an anchor chart with things that they're wondering or noticing and then they make some estimates - too low, just right, too high 
*Tuesday -  I give them a little bit more information from Act 2 and we add that to the class anchor chart 
*Wednesday & Thursday - They get the rest of the information that they need to solve the problem. 
*Friday - they get to find out if they were correct. If students got it right, they get to share out their strategies. If no one figured it out, we talk about how to get the answer. 

If you want a little more information about how this looks in my class, you can watch this video of me explaining how I used the “Where’s the Beef” task:

Once we’ve done some 3 act tasks together as a class and they understand how they work, I let some students work on them in pairs as extension during other parts of the day. For this I use a Google Doc Hyperdoc for them to keep track of their thinking. This is a great way to differentiate because you can have kids working on different levels of 3 act tasks. 

You can grab that free resource here:

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