Sunday, February 7, 2010

Processed...but not like cheese

I deeply value this question:
How did you arrive at your answer?

This is such a great processing question! I have been deeply enjoying the results that come from this question. It's companion questions is , "That's right, but how do you know that it's right?"

Let's tackle the first question:How did you arrive at your answer?

I like this question because it gives my child the chance to explain their thought processes. And as they explain their thought process I can see how their cognitive functions are pulling in information, processing it and then finding a way to explain it all...or in some cases where one of those three elements are being impaired.
This question was key in solving a math difficulty of late.

Math, as you know, has become contentious lately. Well, contentious makes it sound as though their is a big drama happening at my house. Not so. I just recognize that my daughter is saying statements about learning math that haven't been present before.
We're learning subtraction and math has lost its fun for one reason or another. I'm mediating and discovering where and why the love of learning this new concept has ground to a halt.

I asked, "What is 17-2?"
"That's 14."
"How did you arrive at your answer?"
"Well, I took 2 away from seventeen--16 and 15. That leaves us at 14."
And there it was! All it took was asking questions and listening to my daughter to realize where her input information was wrong.
In our learning subtraction it has not been explained that we subtract the number we start with. (The correct answer has us take away 17 and 16 giving us an answer of 15).
It was apparent that she understood the concept of removing two numbers when asked to subtract two from seventteen. She just didn't understand where the starting point was.

Can anyone else see how this changes our approach to subtraction this week???
I can't wait!

ML Technique Focus: Asking Questions