Yesterday students played the Factor Game as they practiced using divisibility rules. As I watched students play, I recognized that their facility and speed with the game did not demonstrate the ease with divisibility rules I hoped for. Most students are strong with facts and computation. They're quick learners, but they haven't mastered the divisibility rules, a skill that's helpful as we begin our study of fractions.
Their less than desired collective skill with this task left me in a quandary. Should I take time out to help students master this skill or should I move forward with the planned problem solving focus for the week? I'm opting to stop and help students master this divisibility rule knowledge and skill. Today students will work together to complete this divisibility rules exercise. Then tomorrow students will play the game again. On Thursday they'll take an individual assessment that demonstrates their knowledge of the skill and on Friday we'll study measurement facts and information in a game format. Then next week we'll return to the problem solving focus, a focus that many teachers are incorporating into their RTI work as well.
Educators are often faced with the issue of whether to move on or stop to teach for mastery. If the skill, concept, or knowledge is integral to future units and teaching, it's important to stop and solidify the skill so students are ready for that future learning.
These were a couple of great videos that added to the teaching.