Building confidence by valuing multiple methods of solving problems

Our Grade 9 MFM1P class has investigated solving ratios using multiple methods. Students have also created scale models (in Minecraft or for a 3D printer) or drawings to support setting up ratios.

Today we used Dan Meyers problem “Nana’s Chocolate Milk” to draw out and review those methods and add one more into our toolbox. Students completed the problem in many different ways. When¬†students solve problems like this BEFORE we “teach” the lesson, it often provides us with the opportunity to build confidence in at-risk students. Students who do not normally step up and share are encouraged to share their method because it was so different/original/exciting. Today that happened again.¬†The group of students actually said “really?” with pride when Ms. Lachapelle said that their method was unique and that she’d love them to share. They even said “thank you” to her after. Every time we teach THROUGH problem solving, we make small gains building confidence with at least one student.

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