Reflections after a 3 ACT Learning Experience

This is a short post about something which occured to me recently regarding 3 ACT learning.

At the start of a 3 ACT problem, students make an intuitive guess as to what they think the answer might be. During the third act, the student gets to see how close the actual answer is to their guess. This can be a very motivating and exciting experience for students if thier guess is close to the actual answer.

What of those students who didn’t guess well? The great thing is that they don’t feel too bad about it because it was after all only a guess; non threatening and not based on any mathematical calculations. For these students, the guess-answer check experience provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on why their guess was so far away from the answer; Why do you think your guess was so far off? What assumptions did you make when making the guess? What didn’t you know about the problem then that you know now?

This is probably obvious to most people using the 3 ACT model but it is something which I believe could promote very rich discussion in class. I think the way I would do this is by making a reflection sheet on the entire 3 ACT process with the questions above and extra questions such as: Did you learn any new knowledge during the task? Did you do a good job at persisting with the task? etc. and then asking students to discuss in pairs. After that, they could write the most important thing on a post-it note and stick it on the board so that we could pick a few to discuss.

I need to trial this but I do think that deep reflection, with discussion, could provide an excellent learning experience at the end of a 3 ACT task.

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