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3-Read Friday #008
Problem-solving, self-explanation, and 3 Acts
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Here are three blog posts that I found interesting this week.
I can't stop featuring Craig’s posts in this newsletter because he keeps producing such quality. In this post, Craig explores the difficulty of helping students get better at problem-solving in maths. He begins with a realisation that hit me hard a few years ago: students don’t get better at problem-solving by simply solving more problems. But the strength of this post is in the two practical strategies Craig offers to help students become better problem solvers: Number-free problems and Zoom-in Zoom-out.
Self-explanation prompts are one of my long-time obsessions. There are swatches of research that extol the power of self-explaining, but then there is Renkl’s 1998 paper that suggests the majority of students do not spontaneously self-explain and so need our support to do so. Fortunately, Alex shares five strategies we can use to do exactly that. I particularly enjoyed the third suggestion about different question types that can prompt students to self-explain.
US maths educator, Dan Meyer, is republishing some of his older blog posts and adding new commentary. This particular post was a welcome blast from the past. I was obsessed - and I mean, obsessed - with Dan’s 3-Act Math structure. It taps into Dan Willingham’s work on the power of stories to engage and support retention, and turns it into a format teachers can use in lessons: the conflict, the tools, the resolution. Here Dan reflects on the implications for this structure and the role of teachers in a world of AI tutors.
If you found this edition of 3-Read Friday useful, feel free to share it with colleagues. Also, you can check out all the back issues of my Eedi newsletter and Tips for Teachers newsletter here. But, most importantly of all, have a great weekend.
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