Friday, August 7, 2015

Number Line Task

So this is the style of many of the tasks that I do in my room, heavy on math, lots of opportunities for me to check in with students as a group and individually, reflection, and math, not always context.  But some people at #eduread wanted to see an example.

I chose to share my Number Line Task because I know I want to do it in the first week of school, but it needed some modifications first!  I did this task last year, but with less structure and it was chaotic, and one student in each class ended up sorting everyone.  Ugh!  No one got to learn!  So I made changes this year to hopefully help with the learning part of it.  It is in three parts.  Part 1 is an individual task (basically think time for each student), Part 2 is as a group, and Part 3 is both class and group.

Number Line Task:  Part 1

FYI:  Each group is getting four different numbers on their paper.  I have 6 tables of 4 students, so I have 6 different sets of 4 numbers.

I would expect students to take about 15 minutes on this.  I plan to have them share with a partner and write one thing their partner said on the back of the paper.  I am doing this because I really want all students to have a voice in my classroom, which means they need to get used to sharing and listening BOTH.  So why not start right away?

Number Line Task:  Part 2
Then as a group, students will complete the following reflection questions

[1.]  Who is the recorder?  Give a specific example of how he/she performed his/her role well.

[2.]  Who is the resource manager?  Give a specific example of how he/she performed his/her role well.

[3.]  Who is the navigator?  Give a specific example of how he/she performed his/her role well.

[4.]  Who was the facilitator?  Give a specific example of how he/she performed his/her role well.

[5.]  Who had the best “because”?  Share it with me!

As you can see these are devised to help students learn to "play their roles" and "say their becauses".  In between Part 1 and Part 2 we are going to learn what the roles of each group member are, so students will have it fresh in their heads...but another way of emphasizing it can't help!

Number Line Task:  Part 3

These are the directions students will get to read through in their groups.
Take an index card and write your number on it.

Soon all of the groups will work together to place all the numbers in order from least to greatest. Here are the rules:
  • You may only address one person at a time, by comparing your number to his/hers
  •  Say your becauses!
  • The only thing you may bring with you is your index card
  • When the class is ready, I will check your order, but I will only tell you “ALL CORRECT” or “NOT ALL CORRECT”
  • We will keep working until we get “ALL CORRECT”
  •  If you feel stuck, you may request “group time” where you will go back to your groups, ask your group members questions, use a calculator, ask a group question, and write notes on the back of your index card
  •   “group time” will always be 90 seconds in duration
  •  You may only ask me questions during “group time”
  •  Remember, when you feel confused, make a mistake, or are thinking hard you are learning!—and that is the goal
      After the class has worked and received and "ALL CORRECT"  each student will complete the following reflection.

[1.]  What was the most challenging part of this task?
[2.]  What is one thing you learned?
[3.]  What is one question you still have?
[4.]  What is one question someone asked you?
[5.]  What number were you and what did you write on your index card? (Use the back if needed.)

All the documents I made for this task are in a folder here.  These are word docs, but it will open in google. Download to word to edit.  Also everything is 2/page and Part 2 should be printed front and back.  Enjoy!

If you have ideas to make this better please let me know!  I'm sure there is something better, but this is what I have :)



  1. Hi Kathryn! Can you tell me more about your group roles? What tasks are assigned to each role? Do you assign groups? Do you assign roles or do they decide within the group? How often do you switch up your groups?


    1. Emily,
      Thanks for reading my blog! I assign groups randomly every other week. I also assign the roles, usually switching every day. I just have big labels at the front of the room that designate a role to a person in a specific spot of the table. This helps me encourage students to "play their role" because I know who is supposed to be what role.

      I have a link to my roles here:
      The post isn't super detailed, but I encourage you to follow the link to Elizabeth's post. I believe she has some others that are related as well. If you have any more questions, let me know!


  2. Hi Kathryn,
    Maybe I missed something, all that is in the downloaded file is part 1. No worries though, I'll create something for the 2nd and 3rd parts. Love the idea!

    1. Mrs. G,

      Thanks for reading my blog and letting me know about my error! I think I fixed it now. Let me know if it still doesn't work--It's my first time trying to link the whole folder rather than file by file.

      I would love to hear about how it goes after you have tried it in your class!


    2. Looking good! (I seriously thought it was me!?). I am definately going to use this the first week of school (review), then I may do it again with some irrational numbers and scientific notation thrown in after the unti. I'll be sure to send you a copy.

      Thanks very much!