Would you rather eat moldy bread or moldy cheese? Although these are fun questions to ask and hear 8th graders answer, our Wednesday Would You Rather questions are based on mathematical situations. For example, would you rather have a pool that is 40ft x 9ft x 4ft or a pool that is 7yd x 4yd x 2yd?
Usually, students in math class aren’t used to writing sentences describing their thinking, but on Wednesdays, the 8th graders have been practicing. They are not allowed to choose an answer without justifying their answer, which must be based in mathematics.
At first, this was a difficult and somewhat challenging problem for students because it was a new procedure and way of thinking. After modeling the process several times with the students and sharing different ideas as a class, they have become more comfortable and confident in their work. It is amazing to see the different paths students take to solving the same problem and hear them discuss their reasoning. Not only are students learning math, they are becoming good decision makers in real world situations.