EL Support Lesson
Think About What Went Wrong!
Students will be able to subtract three-digit numbers.
Students will be able to critique a flawed response with academic vocabulary using discussion cards and partnerships for support.
- Have students sit down in a circle on the floor. Explain to the students that you have a very important problem to solve and you need their help! Elaborate that one of your friends (e.g. Sasha, Jake, etc.) owns an apple farm (change the type of farm and fruit/vegetable to make it relevant to students where you live).
- Tell the students that Sasha harvested 356 apples, but unfortunately, 124 of the apples rotted before she could sell them! Say, "Now Sasha is trying to figure out how many apples she can sell. Do any of you have an idea about how Sasha can figure out how many apples she can sell? Can I figure this out by adding or subtracting?"
- Give students time to do a think-pair-share. Provide sentence stems and frames to support students in their discussions.
- Gain students' attention and ask a few partnerships to share their ideas.
- Clarify that you should use subtraction because Sasha wants to take an amount away from a given quantity.
- Write 356 – 124 = ____ on the whiteboard. Solve the problem using the standard algorithm, asking students to help you as you detail the process using sequencing words (e.g. first, next, then, finally).
- Explain to the students that today they will learn how to identify whether they should add or subtract by thinking about what the story problem is asking and discussing their ideas with their peers.
- Activate prior knowledge by asking students to turn and talk to a partner, explaining what addition and subtraction mean. Provide sentence stems, such as:
- Addition means you ____.
- Subtraction means you ____.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Ask students to go back to their seats.
- Pass out the Vocabulary Cards worksheet to each student and project it on the board. Read through the student-friendly definitions. Have students turn and talk to a partner, explaining the definitions in their own words.
- Hang the anchor charts on the whiteboard in front of the room and put students in partnerships. Pass out three sticky notes to each partnership. Explain to the students that you want them to think of a picture, word, or phrase that explains each vocabulary word. Draw squares to represent sticky notes on the whiteboard and model thinking of some examples that connect to each vocabulary word (difference, subtraction, and critique).
- Pass out one of the Inquiry Math Discussion Cards bags to each partnership. Read through the cards and invite a student volunteer to come up to the front of the room. Model discussing what words, phrases, and sentences can be added to the sticky notes to explain the meaning of each of the vocabulary words. For example, a partner may ask a clarifying question such as, "What do you mean by adding a picture of apples to the subtraction sticky note? I think we should add X's over some of the apples to show we are taking them away." Provide students with a few examples and make sure they understand the process prior to allowing them to work in partnerships.
- Rotate around the room and listen to student conversations to check for understanding. Once every partnership is finished creating their sticky notes, call out a few pairs at a time to come up to the whiteboard to place their sticky notes on the corresponding anchor charts.
- Have students choose their favorite visual representation from each of the anchor charts and draw it above the definition on each of their vocabulary cards.
- Review student ideas, completed sticky notes, and images chosen to record on their vocabulary cards.
- Ask a few student volunteers to come up to the whiteboard to explain their thinking/representations to the class. Provide sentence stems and frames to support students in sharing their ideas. Encourage students to use the Inquiry Math Discussion Cards to ask questions as students present their sticky notes.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Write the following problem on the whiteboard: Kieren found 125 acorns on the ground. Kieren gave 105 acorns away. How many acorns did Kieren keep?
- Write the following equation on the whiteboard: 125 + 105 = ____.
- Briefly define equation in student-friendly language, saying something like, "Does anyone know what this is (point to the equation)? This is an equation. An equation shows that two expressions are equal. Who can point to the sign that shows we will add? Who can point to the sign that shows that something is equal to something else?"
- Say, "I want to figure out how many acorns Kieren kept. I think we should add 125 acorns with 105 acorns. In your partnerships, I want you to discuss whether or not I'm right about adding these two numbers together. You are going to critique my work. Turn and talk to a partner, explaining what the word critique means (give wait time). If we combine 125 with 105, will we find out how many acorns Kieren had left? Use the sentence frames on the board to help you as you discuss your answer with your partner." Write and orally share sentence frames, such as:
- I agree that we should add because ____.
- I disagree that we should add because ____. We should ____ instead.
- Allow a few partnerships to share their ideas with the rest of the class. Provide students with whiteboards and whiteboard markers and give them time to work both individually and in pairs to propose an improved response. Encourage students to use the Inquiry Math Discussion Cards to discuss their ideas. Rotate around the room and observe student work and discussions.
- Allow pairs to share out their ideas and allow a few students to record the correct equation on the board with connecting visuals, words, and sentences.
Group work time(10 minutes)
- Write two more story problems on the whiteboard where the situation involves subtracting two three-digit numbers (no regrouping). Make sure the story problem has understandable context that is relevant to your students. Provide the incorrect equations (addition instead of subtraction) next to each of the story problems.
- Pass out two more sticky notes to each partnership. Explain to the students that they will use their Inquiry Math Discussion Cards and sentence stems/frames to figure out if the equation is right or wrong and explain their reasoning. Reinforce that they will be critiquing your work again.
- Possible sentence stems/frames include:
- The equation is wrong because ____. We need to ____ instead.
- The equation is correct because ____.
- Rotate around the classroom and observe student discussions. When all students are finished, call groups of partnerships up to the whiteboard to place their sticky notes next to the corresponding story problems and equations.
Additional EL adaptations
- Provide word banks with corresponding visuals to help students discuss their ideas when using sentence stems and frames.
- Provide partnerships with one story problem instead of two.
- Provide students with copies of the story problem in English and their home language (L1).
- Encourage students to highlight tricky words from the story problem in English, and look up the words using bilingual dictionaries and glossaries.
- Encourage students to share their ideas without relying on the sentence stems or frames for support.
- Have students create their own story problems individually with corresponding incorrect equations. Ask students to give their story problem to a peer and see if they can explain why the equation doesn't match the story problem.
- Rotate around and assess student understanding during group work. Reflect on the following questions:
- Are students able to refer to their Inquiry Math Discussion Cards to discuss their ideas with peers?
- What other supports should I include next time to make sure students are successful?
- Can students explain what parts of the story problem help them figure out that the equation is incorrect? How do they know this?
- Jot down your observations and refer to them as a formative assessment.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Bring students back together.
- Review student work and discuss correct answers, providing students with sentence stems and frames as necessary.
- Elaborate that being able to critique someone's work is a powerful tool. It helps us understand math on a deeper level and it also helps us build our language skills so we can communicate our thoughts!