Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dan Meyer

If you are not already a reader of Dan Meyer's Blog, you should check that out right now.  At the NCTM conference last week, I attended his presentation.  Yep, that's me next to Mr. Meyer...

By the way, I'm 5'4".

In his presentation he spoke about his 3-Act Math Tasks and 5 Rules of Thumb.
Here are the notes that I took and would love to share with you.

3-Act Math Tasks:

Act 1 - This is where you get the students' attention.  Try to make things obvious without words.

Act 2 - This is where students gather the information they need to solve the problem presented in Act 1.  Try to not tell students what is important, let that up to them.  Sometimes a lecture is necessary and sometimes it's not.  This is where you have conversations with the students, such as; What does this number mean?  etc.

Act 3 - Give the answer.

Sequel - Supply extension questions, especially for the students who finish first.  A good practice is to flip the question.  If the original question is "How much oxygen will be used in x minutes?"  ask, "Describe a situation with y amount of oxygen."

5 Rules of Thumb:

1) Get to the hook QUICKLY.  Ask the question first rather than last.

2) Make the first act visual whenever possible.  This makes math accessible to everyone.  Ask the students to guess.

3) Separate the first two acts.  Don't ask the question and give the tools at the same time.

4) Ask students to help create Act 2.

5) Make the 3rd act visual whenever possible.

Need some ideas?  Here, check out Dan Meyer's spreadsheet of 3-Act Math Tasks.

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