Understanding new math concepts can turn into tricky business. However, at Timpanogos Elementary, the students in Tiffiny Harris’ sixth grade class know that they don’t have to do it alone. They have the help of technology and classmates to facilitate their learning.

As Harris begins her math lesson, she has each of her sixth graders start by opening up their Google Chrome books. On this day, the students learned about integers by using the GoMath resources online. Harris partners each student with a classmate and announces that today’s math lesson will proceed as a friendly competition. The partnership that finishes their online math game first will win a prize. But, this competition comes with a catch.

Students must wait until both partners have finished their math problem before moving onto the next one. If one student finishes before the other, they cannot leave their partner behind. As a partnership they are to help their classmate work through the problem and figure out the math concept until both of them understand. If they want to move fast and win the competition, classmates will need to learn to work together.

Ultimately, it’s not about the competition, but rather the idea of not giving up. Through this activity, students can see that even if something doesn’t make sense right away, they shouldn’t give up because the teacher and their classmates want them to succeed.


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