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  Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Collaborative work: 6th and 3rd graders working in mathematics

By Bénédicte Brouder

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Right before Winter break, 6th graders and 3rd graders worked together in mathematics, under the supervision of M. Giot (MS Math teacher) and M. Franquet (3rd grade teacher). The 6th graders were challenged to design math problems for their younger peers, then supervise and help them out to solve these problems.

They had to follow precise guidelines:

  • Design a selection of math problems using only addition and substraction. There were 4 levels of complexities (green, blue, red and black).
  • Prepare the correction and teaching approach to guide to solution.
  • Work in small groups with the 3rd graders, helping them to solve the problems.

On December 15th, 2016, the 6th graders joined M. Franquet’s class for one hour. Students were placed in small groups, and under the care of their two 6th grade leaders, 3rd graders were at work. Collaborative skills and joyful learning spirit were put to good use, and in one hour, all problems were duly solved.

The 6th graders were truly impressed by the 3rd graders’ work, and shared their experience as follows:

“It was very interesting to gain awareness of how we were at the very same age” Lily

“When you use 3rd grade math techniques, it is actually harder than 6th grade techniques, and it takes longer!” Sofia

“We know the answer, but… we can not tell it! We have to find different ways to explain the problem solving process”. Matthew

“Being a teacher is quite hard: you need to be patient, repeat and avoid giving the answer so they find it by themselves”. Amaia

“We really had to adapt ourselves to their learning ways and comprehension. I used pens to decipher numbers when I saw they did not understand. It made things more simple to explain”. Saliha

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