I had the opportunity to work with a handful of math teachers in our district this last week to create a problem-based unit. The catalyst was the result of a paradox: an emphasis on problem solving vs. the time to teach the vast math standards at the depth of knowledge required. We are experts at teaching procedural fluency. Some of us try to incorporate conceptual understanding – if there is time. Few, if any, of us incorporate an application piece – again because of time.
So a question surfaced: What if we created a problem-based unit that would allow us to bring balance to our instruction?
After getting principal approval by way of funding, we met to try our hand at creating a problem-based learning unit.
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