Culture of Explanation

Saw this article this morning on engagement and loved this quote:

Create a Culture of Explanation Instead of a Culture of the Right Answer
You know you have created a rich learning event when all students are engaged in arguing about the best approach to the assignment. When you use questions and problems that allow for multiple strategies to reach a successful outcome, you give students the opportunity to make choices and then compare their approaches. This strategy challenges them to operate at a higher level of thinking than when they can share only the “correct” answer. Avidly collect problems and tasks that have multiple paths to a solution. As a math teacher, I create problems that have a lot of numbers instead of the usual two. For example, I can present this problem:

5 + 13 + 24 – 8 + 47 – 12 + 59 – 31 – 5 + 9 – 46 – 23 + 32 – 60

Then I can say, “There are at least three fundamentally different strategies for doing the following problem. Can you find them all?”


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