First, they designed the independent math work in a hierarchy of difficulty. As students finished level one, they asked a teacher to check it. If correct, they were given a #1 card and continued their work. Any other student in the room could then approach a peer with a #1 card for assistance with a level one problem. (Same for level two, three, etc.)
Hierarchy of Questions
- “Did you read the directions?”
- “Do you understand what you are supposed to do?”
- “What strategies have you tried?”
- “What is a strategy we just discussed?”
- “Did you try ________?”
- Ask more detailed, problem specific questions, such as, “What color do we highlight negative numbers?”
This card system increased student collaboration and allowed both teachers to spend additional time with students in need of direct instruction or re-teaching.
Thanks to Mr. Tilton and Mr. Kresto for allowing me to share their idea with teachers around the world!