**What is a three part lesson?**It is a lesson that is planned with three major parts: Getting Started, Working on it, and Reflecting and Connecting.

During Math, students need time to explore, discuss and receive feedback, and to practice. The three part lesson allows students to do all of these tasks in one lesson. Teachers must use planning in order to come up with a open-ended problem that will engage students and allow them to reach their learning goals. Teachers begin planning for this with a goal/goals in mind. Next it is important to complete the problem prior to giving it to the students. This allows for ample time to create effective questions that may be used lesson.

The important part of this model of lesson plans is that students have a voice, take ownership of their learning, and can convey their understanding to others. It is not the role of the teacher to do all of the talking.

Part 1: Getting Started (10–15 minutes):

In this part of the lesson the teacher begins by getting the whole class engaged in the learning process. It is important to share the goals of the lesson (The Big Idea) as well as the Problem that needs to be solved. Students are given the opportunity to revisit prior knowledge and understand the task.

The goal of this phase is to review or present a concept before having students solve a problem related to the concept. Then the teacher can ask questions to make sure the students understand the problem that they will be working on.

Part 2: Working on It (30–40 minutes):

By supplying students with an open-ended problem, students are able to explore their mathematical thinking and reasoning. For teachers, it is a great opportunity for formal and informal assessment. As you circulate, you need to decide which students will share their thinking and in what order during consolidation. By letting go at this point, we encourage our students to create meaning and to reason their way through the problem. We allow them to “be mathematicians" (Ottawa-Carlton District School Board, 2011).

Teachers need to allow students to make sense of the mathematical ideas embedded in the problem. Then the teacher can use questions to develop and clarify their mathematical thinking. It is important to remember that questioning may always be needed during student practice (workshop), since the students need time to persevere through their thinking without interruption (Capacity Building Series, Ontario Government, July 2011).

Both correct and incorrect solutions should be analyzed by the teacher or the class/groups since often incorrect solutions offer the most deep and rich learning opportunities. Teacher and student questioning promotes the thinking necessary to build, construct and consolidate understanding of ideas in math. This information may also be used as assessment-for- learning data for planning purposes, including the planning of questions for lesson consolidation (http://teachingrocks.ca/three-part-lessons-teaching-math-through-problem-solving/).

During this final phase, teachers coordinate the sharing of student solutions. It is at this time that the math talk helps students make connections between their own mathematical ideas and the ideas of others (math talk done by the students more than the teachers). This is the goal for the students to be successful in their independent practice (A Guide to Effective Instruction in Mathematics, Kindergarten to Grade 6).

During the Reflection and Connecting part, the teacher and students should summarize the mathematical ideas embedded in the class solutions. By examining their mathematical thinking students become engaged in metacognition and therefore make generalizations related to the learning goal. Students learn by listening and seeing other ways to solve the problem which maximizes and consolidates their learning (Capacity Building Series, Ontario Government, July 2011).