Mr. Danielson was compelled to create a better children's shape book with the premise of Which One Doesn't Belong (WODB) that was designed to not have an answer key. All 4 pictures or shapes can be argued as to the one that does not belong. I love this idea. It promotes thinking, critiquing, justifying and communicating amongst other things. All skills that I love seeing students do in my math classes.
Mary Bourassa has grabbed the bull (by the horns) and created a website WODB.ca. Kudos to her for taking this on. You can follow on twitter @WODBmath.
So I hymed and hawed (whatever that is) about how I could pull this off in my class. Most people in #MTBoS seem to be planning to use this as a class starter. I wanted to do more with it. Here is an overview of what I came up with (actually I lesson studied this with a few colleagues):
Day 1 (this post-WODB Part 1)
Introduce students to the idea of WODB. Look at some old examples and videos. Talk about Danielson's complaint about typical examples. Look at some examples from his book. Look at the example from the avatar for WODB.ca.
Once students got the idea of WODB, do an activity that would have them chose top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right for 10 different examples individually. Then they would analyze the data for one of them. We would get it all on the board. Then as a class we co-created the criteria for what makes a good WODB. Finally, based on the criteria, have students individually rank the ten chosen samples from best to worst. Analyze that data.
Day 2 ( Next day WODB Part 2)
Groups of three, students will create a WODB using the course content. This will be difficult.
Day 3 (Vote day based on the criteria WODB Part 3)
Students will do all other groups WODB. Then they will analyze results for their WODB.
Data on the board. Then rank from best to worst individually ( can include your groups). Winner takes all.
So here is what happened day 1 ( I teach two sections of this course so I did this twice):
Students came in and I asked if any of them had seen or remembered anything about Sesame street. Much conversation about different characters and different things they remembered. I prompted if any of them remember any games they played and we got to "which one doesn't belong" or "one of these things is not like the others".
I showed this video and stopped it as soon as the image came up (about the 12 second mark). Of course I picked this video- something about circles for me. This led to lots of discussion about which one did not belong.
"Top right because it is the smallest one."
"Bottom right because it is the thickest chalk."
And so it began. Students volunteering a variety of reasons for which one did not belong.
Eventually I got this.
"Of the three panels the middle panel does not belong because there are no circles drawn on it."
hmmmm student has a point
and then of course the student who blew our minds and did the meta-cognitive.
"Hold on sir, they all belong. See we have an argument for all of them not belonging. This means they all belong to the category of not belonging." Of course the entire class erupted into cheers and I acknowledged this student's deep thinking.
I diverted to this website quickly.
We hit the play button and got this.