Looking for an engaging and effective way to get your students to discuss solutions to math word problems? Do the "Waddle Walk!" This method is similar to the game musical chairs, but requires students to analyze and comment on the solution method of a classmate.
1. Post a math word problem that is appropriate to the skill level of your students.
2. Students independently solve the problem on dry-erase boards or math journals.
3. Play music! Students walk around the classroom and examine solution methods
of their classmates. Waddle like a duck with your hands behind your back!
4. When the music stops, the students must sit down and carefully examine the
solution at that desk. Student completes the "Waddle Walk" form and leaves it at
5. All students return to their seats and read the comment form left by their
6. Provide time for student discussion. (What was an interesting method? Who
solved the problem different than you did? How did pictures help? Did you find
something that needed fixing? )
This may take around 15-20 minutes in a math class. My students enjoy reading the comments from their friends. Struggling math students see multiple ways to solve problems. All students are engaged, motivated, and moving. Most importantly, they are effectively communicating their ideas about mathematics!!!