I feel like I’m quite late to the #WODB party. I’ve been using number talks and fraction talks for a while now and have really noticed the impact they have have on the students’ abilities to reason and justify their thinking whilst using mathematical language with precision. So it was great to discover a new way to get the students thinking, reasoning, talking etc.

We have been playing with fraction blocks a lot recently as part of both our fractions and 2D shape units so this image seemed to connect nicely. The idea is that the students identify and justify Which One Doesn’t Belong.

The students initial responses were quite simplistic with references to colour and the number of shapes used as the main criteria, though they did quickly get the idea that any one of the shapes could be the one which doesn’t belong. It was when the students started creating their own four shapes that the deeper thinking and conversation started. The students set themselves challenges and asked great questions. For example:

  • Is it possible to make a triangle without using triangles?
  • Is a hexagon still symmetrical if it is made of different shapes and colours?
  • How can I create 3 different shapes with the same perimeter?

I love that:

  • everyone has something to contribute
  • there is no one right answer
  • logical and creative thinkers can both shine
  • it sets the scene for some great inquiry
  • understandings and misconceptions are communicated for a great formative or summative assessment

One thought on “Which One Doesn’t Belong?

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