A ‘Sharing best practice’ post by Jodie Johnson (Mathematics)
“Shhh! We’re going to have a silent conversation…”
An unusual instruction to a class but one that can help to focus thinking and forge collaboration amongst pupils. How? Well listen in…
Working in pairs, the class are given a series of questions of varying levels of difficulty. Their challenge is to answer the questions in silence. Partners can ‘ask’ each other as many questions as they like, as long as they do so in writing. At the end of the activity pairs can then demonstrate to their peers or to the class, how they would solve the problem…in silence just like they will have to do in an exam!
By taking it in turns to solve each step of the problem everybody is engaged and by being allowed to ‘ask’ questions they can help each other get ‘unstuck’ when necessary. The focus on the written demonstration of the solution helps cement the process needed to reach the solution.
Here’s an example of some worked solutions shared (in silence) by pupils with the rest of the class:
Featured image: ‘Silence’ (original image) by Alberto Ortiz on http://www.Flickr.com (license CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)