• Janise

3-ACT Math Task

This is one of the best lessons I learned that we can incorporate in teaching children math. The steps are easy to do with a class, can captivate children's attention, teach them math in a fun way and teach them valuable skills that are stepping stones to children learning broader concepts while learning from each other as well.


The 3-ACT Task includes these 3 steps:

  1. Using Real World Math Problems to Make Math Contextual, Visual and Concrete. You can show a high interest video or picture of a real life situation that gets their attention and gets them curious on wanting to know more by asking questions.

  2. The Class identifies the information needed to answer a mathematical question about the situation.

  3. The problem is resolved and students share strategies.


Common Core Standards:

o Math Practice 4: Modeling with Mathematics. Students apply the mathematics they know to solve problems in contextual situations.

o Represent addition and solve word problems.


I was able to find great YouTube videos that can be used in lessons.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7PSzzut3e8 (Guessing Gumballs)

With this video by itself- I will always begin the 3 ACT Task by first asking them the following questions:

-What do we notice? What are we wondering? What are we trying to solve?


The children will point out what they notice about the gumballs, jar, more than one pack etc.

They can wonder how many gumballs are in each bag and if they will go in the jar.


I can focus on the questions that are relevant to the math problem while not dismissing questions that are unrelated. I want to make sure I give time for the students to give their answers and to generate their own questions.


I would want to format the class in this order when it comes to answer the questions: first the whole class, second in pairs to share their answers to the questions, third will be individually so they can solve the math problem on paper, fourth to share with their partners and the finale will be to share with the class. Having them share with their partners first is my tactic to having them practice explaining their answer to their partner before sharing it with the whole class giving them the opportunity to practice, see any errors or change their answers last minute before sharing it in front of the whole class.


I will assign a number to how many gumballs are in the bag and have them use addition to find out how many gumballs there are in total. I can go further and ask them to make a multiplication equation that will tell them how many are in all the bags.


Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAJY4gomehs (Pizza)


This video I can incorporate in different ways. Here is a lesson plan from another teacher where she uses this video as a 3 ACT task for fractions.


https://jenniferbrokofsky.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/three-act-math-movies-sharing-pizza/


Video 3/4: Here are (2) videos that can be a sequel. The first one captures the children's attention to the gummy worms in the jar and the second video I chose shows how many were in the jar. I liked using these (2) videos because after capturing their attention, I can use the second video in many ways. They can count the gummy worms or I can have them take a look at how many do we have that are in each color combination and I can go further to ask them if they needed to divide them equally among any number of students, how many would each student get.


Video 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1eMBy2wMtA

Video 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je56t30by_o


Another picture:


Thank you

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