Unit 2: Overarching Habits of Mind (MP1 and MP6)

# 2.3.3 An Example of Students Attending to Precision

View all three videos below in which students explain their understanding of the “equals” sign. After viewing each video, consider the question that follows.

In the first video, a student is asked if the statement 5 = 5 is true. The student says no. Why does she say no?

In the second video, a student is asked if the statement 3 + 5 = 3 + 5 is true. The student says it is false. What is his thinking?

In the third video, a student is asked if 3 + 5 = 8 is the same as 8 = 3 + 5. She says that it depends on whether it makes sense to kids or if it is what the teacher wants. How might students adopt this idea?

Listen again to the first two students’ talk about their understanding of the equal sign. Why do they say the statements are not true? What is wrong with their assumptions?

The third student bases her answer on whether or not it has to make sense or be what the teacher wants to hear. No teacher intentionally sets up students for misunderstanding. A teacher’s “habit of mind” should be tuned to listen to student thinking; this ensures what we think we are teaching is what they are learning.

Answer the questions below in your Metacognitive Journal.

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