Would You Rather?

  • What is Would You Rather?

    Would You Rather? is a short routine where students are asked to analyze two scenarios, decide which one they would rather choose, and explain why.  When students analyze information and make choices based on that analysis, they are practicing critical thinking and problem solving. Making a choice and justifying it builds confidence and improves reasoning.   As students participate in this routine they may share non-mathematical as well as mathematical ideas and reasoning.  If students are only sharing non-mathematical ideas and reasoning you may wish to use the questions below to surface the mathematics.

    General Outline for Would You Rather?

    1. Post the image for all students to see.
    2. Allow wait time for students to consider the two options, make a choice, and solidify their reasoning. 
    3. Have students share their choice. Here are some possible ways you might have students share their initial choice:
      • Teach students the sign language for A and B. Then when you give the signal, they show the hand sign for their choice. 
      • Assign a letter or choice to opposite sides of your room. On your cue, students move to the location corresponding with their choice.
      • Students write their choice on an individual white board, and on your cue, they hold up their white boards. 
    4. If possible, provide time for students to talk with a partner (or small group) about their choice and their reasoning.
    5. Select a student to share their rationale for their choice.
    6. Encourage students to ask questions, revoice and rephrase in order to fully understand each other's thinking. 
    7. Select additional students to share to ensure that multiple rationals for each choice are heard. 
    8. To close, ask students to reflect on new learning.


    Some questions you might ask are: 

    • What do you notice?
    • What do you wonder?
    • How are the two scenarios alike?
    • How are the two scenarios different?
    • What is your justification for your choice?
    • Where do you see math in the two scenarios?
    • How could you use math to justify your choice?
    • Why might someone choose the other option? 
    • Why might someone decide not to choose either option?

    Additional resources you might find helpful: