Helping students to improve their problem solving ability is one of the major goals of mathematics education. The dynamic math approach is intended to help facilitate that ability.


  • Students should be organized for small groups activity. Each group chooses a “captain” who will be responsible for sharing his groups decisions.
  • Room arranged appropriately for group activity.
  • Computer and projection device setups are ready to go.

  • Since you want to facilitate “conversation” try calling on students rather than responding to hand raises. This will give you better leverage in leading the group discussion and minimize the calling out of answers. When you do call on a student with his or her hand raised try to get another student to respond. Remember your goal is to encourage good mathematical conversation between you and the students and the students with each other.
  • Go over the rules (see below) with them. Make sure they understand each of them.

Setting the stage

  • Pose the problem to the students in an interesting manner. 
  • Hand out recording sheets.

Note: Before you let the students start working on the problem, make sure everyone understands by asking a student (or two) to restate the problem in his or her own words. Look around to make sure everyone understands. If not, let a student explain it to the student or students who still don’t understand.Ask the class if there are any final clarification questions. If not, you can ask them to begin.

Doing the activity

The students should discuss the problem in their groups. You should listen in on their conversations and help them in appropriate ways. If you are using a time limit, remind them how much time left they have. Reinforce that their responses must be written clearly on the activity sheet. Though only one person may be writing, the result represents the group’s consensus on the solution. Once the time for the activity is over, the students should not be doing any more writing.


Have each “captain” share his or her group’s results by standing up and saying or reading what they wrote. Ask the other groups what they think the score (0 to 5) for their response should be.

Assessment Rubric

Use a scoring rubric to assign the group a score for the problem.

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