MTBoS Week 2 – CMP3 Accentuate the Negative Investigation 1.4
In my 7th grade classroom we use CMP3 (Connected Mathematics Project) as our materials to teach the CCSS. My students are currently working in the book Accentuate the Negative investigation 1.4 using the chips. So, far students have been working with adding positive and negative numbers via a number line and with investigation 1.4 they start using red and black chips to model problems. I have had students using chips to model how to add integers for a few years now. Students are normally excited to be using something concrete to help them understand adding integers.
When I introduced this investigation yesterday everything went as planned but that didn’t last for long! As students started to explore in their groups the whining began. “Why do we have to do this?” “Do I have to use the chips, it’s too much work?”
As I was walking around from group to group I was looking at student work and then listening in on their conversations. I quickly noticed that they were not using the chips and answering problems like 7 + -8 as -1 but as 15. I have never had this problem in past years with students whining when they were given chips to use and help make a problem more concrete.
I then found myself having to go around to each group and re-enforce that yes they were supposed to be using the chips. I even went so far as to ask a few students to model how to use the chips for certain problems.
The class I have this year as 7th graders don’t want to do any extra work. I have been trying everything out of my toolbox of ideas and resources (rewards with food, contests against classes……). About the only thing I have left is to do the work for them and that is never going to happen. So, I am back to rethinking how to get my students involved in what the lesson wants them to do. The work of a teacher is never ending!!!
I will be posting pictures of student modeling with the chips later today at my twitter account @Sarah3Martin