Sequencing Math Examples

Sometimes it amazes me how horrible the examples are from worksheets that are available on the internet. The complexity of the early examples is often too challenging to provide an entry point for all students, and there appears to be no intentional sequencing of the problems.

On the other hand, when I (or several of my colleagues) create our own worksheets, we often put great care into thinking out the exact right sequence of examples to lead students through the math, noticing patterns and making deep and important understandings clear. 

For example, in class today, I used a worksheet (I actually stole most of this from the internet) that had students looking for patterns in multiplication of numbers in scientific notation. One of my students who rarely speaks raised her hand to share her conjecture about a shortcut – the examples made it so clear, even she was able to articulate it confidently!


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