I witnessed this cool thing the other day, the thing that I keep on blogging about because I keep on seeing it over and over. I was in a second grade classroom where students were adding two digit numbers. The lesson was to add the ones first, then the tens by decomposing numbers. The well meaning adult in the room (me) kept on teaching it according to the lesson. Students were making mistakes and errors like crazy. Then, I gave them the freedom to try whatever way they pleased.
I was astounded by their thinking, they came up to share one by one with different strategies that made WAY more sense to each other than what I was preaching. It was pretty amazing to see what they were coming up with. Not only did their ways make sense, but they were also accurate. Another reminder that I need to SHUT UP!
So let them talk! The deep thinking and learning that will come from it will be amazing.