I posed the subtraction question 92 minus 18 for a class to calculate. One child answered 74. Another said 86. My response to both children was the same: “How did you get that answer?”
I did not indicate to one child that the answer was correct and to the other that it was incorrect. I wanted each child, and their classmates, to figure out for themselves if either answer made sense or not.
I want the children to become sense-makers who are willing to interrogate their own ideas. I want them to rely on logic when figuring out if an answer is right or wrong and not depend on the external affirmation or disaffirmation of a teacher. Continue reading