Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Getting Started with BANSHO

Based on the amazing Michael Wendler's BANSHO lessons, I decided to teach our Patterning and Algebra unit completely through BANSHO style, or three-part Math lessons.

Each task is organized in ABCD order (can you tell I love acronyms!). We start each lesson with an Activation, followed by our group-work Bansho question, and followed by Consolidation and then some individual Doing. Activation entails an introduction to the topic, and sometimes we look back to some of the strategies used for the last question. Bansho is the collaborative work to solve the open-ended problem. Consolidation happens once the groups are ready to share their strategies. We talk about which ones are similar and different and decide what strategies were most effective and efficient. The Doing usually requires students to work alone to practice their new skills. Sometimes, the Doing is taken home as homework.

Above is the slideshow we've been working with. There are some very challenging questions included, as well as some that feel like more of a review, especially now, since we've had a lot of practice.

Students have showed a remarkable range of skills through this unit. They are, of course, practicing their Math skills, but they are also building collaboration, communication, problem solving and perseverance and confidence. Watching them work together through challenging problems and then sharing them effectively is incredible!

Below are some shots from our first BANSHO lesson of the year:

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