After reading Gallas’ book on Science Talks, I have a lot of information I need to process. The narratives of the discussions her students had and her insights were invaluable. I loved the idea of asking a elementary student why they thought leaves changed, how the moon came to be, and how rice plants began. While reading this, however, I struggled with how I would implement this in my own classroom, especially when teaching mathematics. How would I ask my students to figure out how to solve an inequality using absolute value without knowing absolute value or inequalities? How would my students describe/intuit the meaning of an inequality sign? the straight brackets for absolute value? I’m still struggling with this idea and I hope to learn more about this idea throughout the course.

I really like to idea of bookending a unit with a discussion on how or why one would solve a specific type(s) of problems before giving the algorithms to solve such problems. Such an approach would allow me to see what creative ways they students would use to solve the given problems based on their existing skill set. It reminded me of a lesson about solving systems of equations. I found on NCTM’s website (http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lessons/CandyProblem/CandyProblemAS.pdf). The actual solution to this system of equations cannot be found using any of the algorithms taught in algebra (substitution, graphing, or elimination). I wonder if presenting the students with a novel problem such as the Candy Problem at the beginning of a unit would stimulate and open their minds to new concepts in mathematics.