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Brilligs and Zeepers

Instructional Content: Solving Word Problems

Instructional Strategy: Use of Alternative Language

We are not sure where Ms. Jacobs came up with these words, and quite frankly, we're not asking. Whatever the source, her brilligs and zeepers serve to do more than prompt giggles in the classroom-- they decrease the mental block that sometimes occur whenever algebraic symbols are introduced. The use of made-up words also helps to "level" the mathematical playing field among students of varying academic and algebraic backgrounds.

PDROM Bar Video

As you observe the video clips, what do you observe about the students as they encounter Ms. Jacobs new language?


Classroom Clip Reflection:

  • How do Ms. Jacobs cues and prompts make this problem more accessible to her students?
  • What evidence do you have that students either understand or do not understand what they are to do?
  • What other strategies does she use to support her students? learning?
  • What are the implications for you work with students?