Oops, I forgot…

Welcome to Oops, I forgot… ! This page represents my ongoing attempt to curate a collection of ideas of a task structure that I invented while playing with teaching moves that instigate, amplify, and sustain student activity in open teaching spaces.

This landing page is designed to:

  • Provide some key advice for using Oops, I forgot… with mathematics learners
  • Provide a space to collect the examples submitted by the math teacher community

If this is your first time here, please start by reading my post where I introduce the routine. This will describe, in a touch more detail, the origins, influences, intentions, and justifications for Oops, I forgot… (OIF) tasks.

Each OIF consists of two pieces: a launch and a list. The launch is the starting point for the routine, and the list is a series of shifts in the original prompt that are “conveniently remembered” as the routine unfolds. (Again, see this post for an elaboration).

Some key advice and reminders for teachers:

  1. The launch of an OIF typically asks learners to create an object. This is a demanding starting point all in itself, and I like to facilitate this type of thinking in collaborative settings–usually groups of three.
  2. Consider the lists of new constraints in each example as a productive suggestion. There is no perfect list or sequence; this structure should embolden teacher creativity. Design lists that–in your anticipations–will sponsor activity with your learning goals.
  3. Focus on the difference created through the convenient amnesia. Students should justify why their new creation satisfies the scenario, but also what needed to be adjusted and what stayed the same.
  4. Make the move in the moment. If/when you anticipate that convenient remembering will further mathematical activity, make the play. There is no prescription.
  5. Students may need different things at different times. There is no law that each group needs to get the new constraints at the same time. Use your judgement; keep thinking going.
  6. As they catch on, let students predict what the next shift might be. This is actually a beautiful window into the mathematics they know.

Examples are collected in the table below. Each is formatted into a downloadable word document. 1 This format helps with preparation time and also encourages edits of the constraints to fit your specific classroom context. These tasks are published under this Creative Commons licence

Take this as your open invitation to implement, adapt, share student thinking, and contribute new ideas. You can download this template to build your own and then communicate with me via Twitter (using the hashtag #OIFMath) or the Contact Page!

Sharing cookiesFawn NguyenHandout
Choosing three numbersJames Myklebust-HampshireHandout
Building fractionsNat BantingHandout
Building fractions with pattern blocksDan FinkelHandout
Fractions between benchmarksNat BantingHandout
Adding fractionsKirk KeatingHandout
Building rectanglesFawn NguyenHandout
Area of shapesJoAnn SandfordHandout
Graphing a storyErick LeeHandout
Building linear equationsJamie MitchellHandout
Two-column proofsNat BantingHandout
Counting ice cream conesAli Pravda HaasHandout
Road trip permutationsNat BantingHandout
Building sinusoidsErick LeeHandout

  1. You do not need to request permission to access the documents. Simply download the file from Google Drive on to your computer.