Pairs Check

Mode of Instruction: Partner Work           Purpose: Check for understanding

Objective: To promote productive struggle with a topic before mastery is expected, two students share mathematical ideas with each other. Teacher monitors through circulation.

Use when practicing a new skill or procedure, or to pre-assess a topic that will soon be taught. Within each team of four, students work in pairs to solve problems and then check solutions with the other pair. Each set of partners has one sheet of paper and one pencil. While one student writes, the other student explains. If the student writing disagrees with the explanation, then a discussion happens before the step is recorded on the paper. When finished the role of writer is rotated to the other student, and the process continues. After problems are complete, the partners check the explanations of the other team members. If both pairs agree, a checkmark is added to the paper. If pairs disagree, teams conduct error analysis.

  • Team Member (1) writes while Team Member (2) explains the first problem.

  • Team Member (1) asks clarifying questions to Team Member (2).

  • The partners check with the other partners from the team—if they agree, put a ✅, if they disagree, find mistakes.

  • Team Member (1) rotates the paper to Team Member (2), and roles are reversed for the next problem.

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