Collaboration :)

Posted on February 19, 2021

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Wednesday night, for lack of a zoom meeting and being a “give up being a vegetable after 7:00 p.m.” for Lent, I did a draft of a video explanation of “Please Go and Bring For Me” for building multiplicative thinking, because I think it’s a brain changer. It reminds me of “letterbox lessons” for building decoding skills. *So many* parts of the brain are working on the same thing. So much “no, this is actually what it means!”

To my delight, the authors have suggestions and comments but like the idea and thought my presentation was consistent with what they’re trying to convey.

What I find exciting about this series of exercises is that it’s designed to build working memory and thinking of 2 things at once: both “how many things do you have” and “how many groups do you have” at the same time, similar to the way Dorothea Steinke’s materials teach learners to wrestle with wholes and parts and how they are there *at the same time.* Senders tell Bringers to “please go and bring for me” a tower with 5 cubes… they do that for as many times as the Sender decided (starting with 2-6 groups), and they use language to express how many cubes in each group, how many groups, and how many total cubes there are… and that’s just the first exercise. The task is gradually made more complex and then — just as explicitly and gradually — the students make the connection between the groups and amounts and what the expression “5 x 3 = 15” means, including covering up the manipulatives and then drawing them.

I had wondered if a student who already grasped the stuff would be bored out of their gourd … but I think it lends itself to thinking about multiplication deeply… and there’s movement built in. Students go and get the cubes so there isn’t the “now sit quietly while your classmates complete the task.”

So, next thing is to make the video better 🙂 Imagine what a team could do… Oh, and I still need to read the article that I *think* has it as more of a computer game but … the power of actual THINGS IN YOUR HAND is important.