Flexible Learning in Action

Each student received an image. 
Flexible learning spaces provide the opportunity to think about student learning in new ways.  Today we are sharing how math teacher Erin Ramsey is challenging students to think out loud while sending students on a Space Odyssey exploration. Watching this lesson, it was incredible to observe students processing thinking and problem solving collaboratively. This lesson structure could also be adapted for a variety of content areas.

Step 1: Students all received an image to begin their Space Odyssey and an answer sheet with all the Space Odyssey pictures where they would track their answers throughout the lesson.
Sample Answer Sheet with Images
Step 2: Erin placed equations for students to solve in various places around the flexible learning area. Students begin by finding the problem that matches the image they were given at the beginning of the lesson and solving the equation. The level of student conversation about equations was off the charts during this activity!

Step 3: Formative assessment was built into this lesson in a really clever way.  The answer to one equation points to the next problem to solve (the large number at the top of each paper).  For example, if the answer to my equation is 0, then I find the next problem by finding the paper with the number 0 at the top.  I noticed a few groups saying, "I can't find a paper with -3." This served as a cue that they had actually solved the previous problem incorrectly. Groups would then go back to the previous problem and rework the equation.  This prompted some powerful reflection as group worked to figure out where they went wrong the first time.


  1. What a wonderful strategy to get students moving while working collaboratively to solve problems. Love the fact that they had to reference prior work to be able to move through the learning outcomes. LOTS of SMILES!!!


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