She recently said, "If you don't see a range of strategies, these problems might be too hard or too easy for your students." What an excellent reminder for those times when most everyone in the room solves a problem the same way. I agree that there should be a range, although I'll admit I don't always see it. Today I did, which says something about the problem I gave them.
8 reindeer pull Santa's sleigh. Each reindeer has 2 antlers. How many antlers are there altogether?
While the kids were solving the problem in their journals, I purposefully sought out a range of solutions and sent those particular mathematicians to the board to reproduce their strategies. When it was time for our four math teachers to share, I purposefully chose the order they would share. Look at them below and you'll see the progression.
The kids delivered today. Isn't it amazing how much better they deliver when I have my act together? The problems we choose are key.
By the way, Tara is a great resource for all things elementary math. Go check her out.