Grade 1 Task- Not enough information
At 2017 Mathodology Fall Institute participants worked on a task from think!Mathematics which required them to use the given shapes to make a composite figure. Figure C posed a problem for many. Is it possible? Participants worked and worked and did not find a way to solve the problem with the given shapes. The teacher allowed the task to move on without closure for a purpose. When students work to become confident problem solvers we want them stating, “Figure C is not possible with the given shapes. I would need an additional… to complete this shape.” We have built perseverance and another way to assess them. Do they know what to ask? “I need two more pieces of one shape.”
When we do not provide immediate closure, we allow students to continue to explore. Many participants emailed after the institute because they would not quit until they figured it out. Below are a few of the pictures they sent.
Try giving a task where there is not enough information and see how your students handle it. Will they be confident to state this is not possible, and know what to ask?
Great perseverance by participants who refused to give up?