“It’s the student who makes the teacher, not the other way around.” - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
As part of our Singapore Math curriculum, we do a daily “problem solving ladder.” These are word problems that ask for responses to a problem with increasing difficulty. The beauty of these exercises is that they can present the *same* content at different complexity levels so that every student can engage with the content at their own level. They also encourage students to push themselves.
However, for some of our students they are able to complete even the most difficult tier of these problems, while other students are still working. To add a layer of engagement, Daniel has been encouraging students to write their own ladder on the back of the worksheet and he will try to do the ones the students generate on their own. It has been delightful to watch students get excited about attempting to “stump” Daniel. He has even taken some of them home to complete and return to students the next morning. This is a unique place where intense rigor dovetails with the most joyous form of play and competition.