At the beginning of math students join me on the carpet without any materials. I will then write a math problem on chart paper. Sometimes it has to do with multiplication, other times fractions, and later this year we will work with fraction and decimal addition and subtraction.

Students think about the strategies they could use to find the solution. Once most of the group is ready I write down the answer(s) that they found. Sometimes we have only one answer (we all agree), but most of the time we have a variety of answers to begin. For this problem students thought the answer maybe 204, 264, or 244.

Students then share their strategy with the group and I will write it down on the chart paper. After students share their strategy, the others can ask them questions or make a comment. This is a fantastic time where students seek clarification or sometimes even challenge the thinking of another student.

I will sometimes ask if students see connections between the different strategies, but students are just beginning to point these out to the group.