The feedback was overwhelmingly positive:
I wanted to share the materials I created, in case they are useful to other teachers. All of them are simple modifications of Allison’s creations:
Here are the lesson slides.
The card sort on google slides. (For group work…I also used this as an opportunity to introduce the idea of having table leaders.)
The desmos link. (Used for independent think time and the cool down. )
Here is some of the work from my students. I would have loved to go deeper with this activity…and in actual school, in an actual classroom, it would have been much easier to push students further by asking them about discrepancies between their card sorts and their definitions. I LOVE the variety here:
At the end of class, I asked “How does this connect to math class? How does it connect to doing math?”
In one class, no one offered up any ideas. Bummer. I made a few connections for them….one of them being that this activity shows how sometimes you think you know something – like how we all thought we knew what a sandwich was – but when you really probe deeply, you realize you understand less than you thought. In math we have to really think deeply to make sure we truly understand. (I’m not totally sure this was a positive first day message!)
But in the next class, students shared the type of comments that make a math teacher’s heart sing:
“Debate. We had to debate and argue about what makes a sandwich a sandwich and in math class we have to debate our ideas and answers with each other.”
“It’s like the dot talk because it shows that there are a lot of different ways of seeing and thinking about things.”
“It shows how to really understand someone’s idea about something you have to get down into the tiniest, detail of what they are saying to make sure your really understand.”
In any case, I HIGHLY recommend doing this with your kids!