Monday, March 24, 2014

Math Lesson Inspired by Dan Meyer's CUE14 Keynote

Today's math lesson was fantastic!  Thank you to Dan Meyer for the inspiring keynote at CUE14 this past weekend.  I took what you said and decided to add perplexity to my lesson today.  My goal is to make this the norm for my classroom.  The ultimate goal is to get my students to naturally ask perplexing questions on their own.  They are already starting to do this.

Today's lesson focused on finding a percent of a whole number.  Rather than going right into the prescribed curriculum lesson and workbook pages, I showed this picture to my students, and asked them to think and discuss:

After some laughter and discussion on possibilities of why a big banner would read 0% off and what 0% off actually meant (most agreed there has to be another half to the banner, and that it is the bunched-up heap on the ground), I showed this image:

More thinking and deep discussion ensued.  Then, I showed a few more pictures as we went into the crux of why we need to know how to find percentages of whole numbers.  My fifth graders not only enjoyed today's math session, but also they learned more than the curriculum lesson alone could have ever provided.

Thank you to Dan Meyer and all the other innovative educators who challenged my thinking.  I am so excited to see what the rest of the year holds as I implement more from what I learned at CUE14.  Expect more blog posts soon!


  1. Fantastic Christina. I thought about going to CUE14 but was overwhelmed. Couldn't put it together.Thanks for sharing your thinking!

    1. Thanks, Julieanne! I learned so much at CUE14 from other teachers. It was such an worthwhile experience. I highly recommend it if you can pull it off next year.


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