So they ARE listening!

I am constantly asking my students for more – asking what they were thinking, asking how they got their answer, asking them to prove to me why their answer is correct.

Sometimes I think that I’m driving them crazy.  Sometimes I feel like a broken record on repeat day after day.

But today, I found out that they are listening to me.

We were gathered on the carpet, journals open, white boards on our laps, and there were pennies everywhere.  We were using story mats to tell stories – I asked a few, and students worked in partners and small groups to solve the story.  I watch and listened (and even snapped a few pictures!) of the work that was happening all around me on the floor.

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Then I turned it over to them – I asked if someone would be willing to share their story with the rest of us.

And to my delight, I had hands shooting up everywhere!  Look at the risk takers!

But the real surprise came on the second story; a little girl began with, “I have 9 pennies in my bag.  My mom gave me 2 more.  How many do I have now?” Students worked through the problem, and again, hands waved wildly to share their results.  She looked around, found a friend, and he answered confidently, “11!”

Then it happened.  She, with a kind and enthusiastic voice, uttered four words that began fireworks in my mind…

“How do you know?”

And without missing a beat, he explained the process he went through to come to 11.

I was stunned.  They had heard me time and time again asking for reasoning, and then, they started challenging one another for proof.  It has become the norm – we are going to hold one another accountable for our thinking.

They were listening.  And it was a Monday.  I’m excited for what’s to come!


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