One of the missions of this blog is to take the work of the amazing online community of math teachers known as the MathTwitterBlogoSphere (MTBoS) and to show what modifications are made for students with disabilities. I call it the #MTBoS Mod(ification). You can read the first two editions here and here. This edition is about the lesson structure created by Dan Meyer known as a 3-Act Task.
#MTBoS MOD: 3-Act Edition
The 3-Act math task I chose was created by Graham Fletcher called It All Adds Up. I chose this because in our spring trimester we focus solely on financial literacy. As a teacher of students with disabilities we spend a great deal of time on the adaptive mathematics that is often over-looked or just simply considered a “real world context” in the classes of typically developing students. In the world of special education these tasks are known as Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), which are complex skills needed to live independently. IADLs are not to be confused with the Activities of Daily Living, which are basic self-care tasks. At my school we call these skills the Mathematics for the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.
As a pre-assessment for our “money unit” (as the students call it) I used “It All Adds Up.” The goal was to see how comfortable the students were with identifying coins and counting different combinations of coin denominations. I launched the task with three of my student groups. The task is great for students at different computation levels. At the simplest level the students can solve it by adding coins together to equal $1.00. At a more complex level students can look for patterns that can help them solve the problem more efficiently as well as reflect on the possibility of multiple solutions to the problem. I gave this task to groups of students with a variety of different needs and modes of processing. I’ve broken the three groups into the three stages of the Concrete-Representational-Abstract method of instruction.
As I have become more involved in the MathTwitterBlogoSphere (#MTBoS) it has been a pleasure to share the really great material created by the MTBoS with other teachers in my school. Our school has three sites. There is a grammar school (elementary and middle), a high school and a post-high school which assists students in the transition from school to “the real world” in a more targeted, vocational way. Earlier this year I was able to share sites like Estimation 180 and Would You Rather with teachers at all three sites. One of the middle school teachers has integrated Estimation 180 and the work of Andrew Stadel into her classroom culture. What follows is her reflection on this process in the form of an edition of the #MTBoS Modification Series. You can also read the first edition that featured Mathalicious.
#MTBoS MOD: Estimation 180 Edition
Students in one math group have been using Estimation 180 as a starting point for further exploring the concept of estimation. They know that to estimate means to make a guess based on known information. When you are asked to estimate it is often within a context and you must use any relevant information (known or given) to guide you. After several months of answering Mr. Stadel’s prompts on the Estimation 180 website, students created their own original estimation projects. They were encouraged to research a topic of interest and provide enough information through facts or visuals so that classmates could make a reasonable guess.
First, I’ll give you a little background. In the past I have discussed my use of curriculum created by the online math education community known as the MathTwitterBlogoSphere (MTBoS). I have already written about the use of and modifications for Fawn Nguyen‘s Visual Patterns and Christopher Danielson‘s Which Shape Doesn’t Belong.
So, I decided that what I can add to the community is to share how our classes are using the material from the MTBoS and how we are modifying it for students with disabilities. This is the first post in the series I am calling #MTBoS Mod(ification). The first subject of the series is the wonderful curriculum development website called Mathalicious. If you haven’t seen or used the work of this website, please take a minute to go to the link and poke around, but then come back here to see what modifications we made!
So here goes…