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SMILE Reflection

1.What did each student do or say that was mathematically smart?

- I think it was smart when Mikala repeatedly shared her interpretation of what a clue meant to
their arrangement of faces. There were many instances in which she would respond to another
student’s statement with “so…” Students would respond to her by evaluating if what she said
made sense, which helped to further the overall reasoning of the group.
- When the students realized that their sums did not add up correctly, I think it was smart when
Laia said, “we all got to read the cards again.” I think this was smart, because she recognized
an appropriate strategy for getting the group unstuck.
- I think it was smart when Shawn said, “I think this one is wrong, because if it is YBYB, then it
should be going in a pattern.” I think this was smart, because he was critically evaluating the
work of his group members and providing justification for a revision of their arrangement.
- I think it was smart when Ja’ Ques said, “Rows is this way [indicated with a horizontal hand
motion]; columns is this way [indicated with a vertical hand motion].” I think this was smart,
because he was contributing his prior knowledge to clarify a concept in response to a group
member’s question.

2.What do students understand? What are students on their way to understanding? What is
your evidence from your observations to support your statement?

- I think that Mikala understands estimation, because I heard her suggest reasonable possible
values for the face cards, before the group took steps to calculate these mathematically.
- I think that Ja’ Ques understands how to perform accurate addition, because I saw that he was
consistently adding up numbers to support his critique of, justification for, and verification of
the group’s solution.
- I think that Shawn understands the meaning of patterns, because I saw that he was the first to
recognize how YBYB should be accurately interpreted.
- I think that Laia understands how to use deductive reasoning, because I heard her make
statements about what must or must not be true based on the content of the clue cards.

3.What are the norms for participation that students are enacting? What are they saying and
doing as math learners that supports their participation and learning?

- I think the students understand that being a math learner requires asking questions. I think this
because three out of the four group members posed questions to the group.
- I think the students understand that being a math learner requires sharing ideas. I think this
because all members of the group were consistently contributing to the group’s overall
progress toward a solution
- I think the students understand that being a math learner requires being open to considering the
ideas of others. I think this, because each of the students listened to group member ideas and
responded to them in a way that showed that they were not just being dismissed. Mikala wrote
in her reflection, “to become unstuck we usually had two different sides so we just did both
opinions [options?] till it was right.” I see this as an example of how students were valuing
multiple perspectives.
- I think the students understand that being a math learner requires critiquing the ideas of others.
I think this because each of the group members made statements that expressed whether or not
they felt like their group members’ reasoning made sense. This helped the group maintain a
collective understanding of the reasoning behind their solution.

4. What instructional moves did you make that had good success?

When starting the task, I explained how they would be working together and each of them would
need to contribute their ideas for the group to be successful. I specifically told them that they
should try to notice how each group member is contributing. During this task, the students did
not turn to me for assistance, so I stood away from the group, but close enough that I could
overhear what was said. I only occasionally glanced over at the group when I was trying to
clarify whose voice I heard. During the reflection, I gave students adequate time to write down
contributions for all of the group members, so that they each were prepared to share.

5. What instructional moves might you do differently?

I would remember next time to double check for task completion before moving on to student
reflection. Once the students find the correct solution, if they did not use algebra to find it, I
think it would be a good idea for me to ask them how they might have used variables to represent
a row or column with an equation.

6.What are you taking away from this experience? (e.g. What have you learned? What are
you left thinking about, wondering, asking? What might you do differently in your
classroom as a result?)

The student reflections and feedback reinforced to me the merits of using this type of task in my
future classroom. The students told me several things that help me to believe this task would
improve relationships in a classroom. They each acknowledged contributions from each other
group member, and spoke positively about their own contribution to the group. One of the girls
told me that this task would have been too hard for just one person to solve. Also, they shared
with me that they enjoyed this activity.

The biggest thing that I am left wondering about is concerned with how to address status issues
or behavior problems in groups for which these are more likely to occur. How can I better
prepare so that I am able to draw an excluded student into the task? What happens if group
members do not feel like a certain individual has made any contribution?