Below you can see the problem-solving task and sccaffolding I put together with another student teacher this semester (with the advice of our mentor teachers).
- The first gallery is the presentation we did to the faculty on what we did.
- The second gallery is the task and worksheets I put together to directly scaffold the task.
- The third gallery is samples of student work throughout the various steps of the task and scaffolding.
- The fourth gallery is earlier assignments I intergrated into my unit on Rome to start prepping students for the problem solving task.
Below the galleries is a brief reflection.
I think the problem solving project overall went very well, it was great to really push the students to do something completely different from what they had been doing and get them engaged with another class. The mini-seminars were great to be able to do since we had 40 students and 4 teachers (or student-teachers) and clearly wouldn’t work in all situations. But this was the first time I thought about using guided reading questions for foundation of a discussion, which I then used repeatedly in the future to scaffold and focus discussion my period 3 college prep class. I started using the questions about the economics documents (my mini-seminar) on the second day because the students had so much trouble carrying the bulk of the conversation the first day. The second day’s mini-seminars went much better as far as student engagement and participation; I think my introduction of the questions really helped. The biggest area students had a problem with in the actual writing of the on-demand task, as demonstrated in the second student work sample above, was including a plan to accomplish solving the problem which was really the basis of how this was designed to help develop their math skills. Some students did it really well after the scaffolding (before they were like “what?”) but some still struggled which to me shows how important it is that there be more focus on developing these fundamental math and life logical thinking skills across the curriculum, like we so frequently push literacy.