Several weeks ago, my colleagues and I had the amazing opportunity to see James Nottingham speak on education and the importance of giving students the tools to succeed at school by promoting their growth. One of the amazing tools and ways to do such as he explained is through this idea of a ‘breakthrough’; essentially presenting something new to the students and allowing them to figure it out using their prior knowledge and problem solving skills. I immediately thought of fun and exciting ways to implement this idea of breakthrough in my classroom!
The following week, I presented the weekly Breathrough Challenege in my class during Math Facts! Every week (mid week) the students would be given a question related to the math concept we are studying. Students would be able to use their prior knowledge to solve the question and conversely, have a breakthrough in their learning! This is a great tool to introduce new concepts as the questions that arise during the consolidation of the Challenege can lead the inquiry of the next concept.
The Breakthrough Challenge for this week surrounded the hundreds block in place value. Students were already familiar with the tens and ones blocks. The question presented to them was how many tens and ones blocks can you fit in this hundreds block? Using the chart down below, in a group they had to discuss what they thought and how they knew using the blocks provided to them as their evidence.
The consolidating of these Breakthrough Challenges are our favorite part of the experience as we all love to hear what everyone came up with and their rationale behind their answers! It’s always great to see my students so excited about their learning; especially when it is through their own discoveries!