If you've been using Math Medic materials for a while, you know we're big on __establishing norms__ in the math classroom. In order for students to be successful working in groups on the Activity portion of an EFFL lesson, they need to know what good collaboration looks like and what authentic math learning entails.

While we could just present our students with a list of norms, we find it much more effective to give students a task where that norm is highlighted so that students see the purpose and value of adhering to that norm. In other words, we "EFFL" our beginning of the year norms teaching, just like we EFFL all the math content we will teach that year.

When we prepare for a new school year, we decide what we want our class norms to be (we might tweak them slightly from year to year but the same themes tend to emerge) and then we look for an activity that will help students bump into that norm so that *they *are the ones generating the norm, rather than us. We've shared many of these norm building activities over the years, and today we'll share a new one with you: Rainbow Logic. This activity comes to us again from Stanford's __Complex Instruction Skill Builders____,__ just like __Lots of Dots__.

We think this activity is best used to establish the norms:

Discuss and Decide

Collaboration involves refining one another's ideas

We are smarter together than apart

### Materials:

16 squares per student, 4 of each color (I used 4 colors of cardstock and made 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares)

We suggest making a class set and then reusing them from year to year.

If you don't want to use paper materials, you can get the __digital version__.

**Goal: **Deduce the pattern of a 3x3 color grid using the fewest number of questions possible.

**How to play:**** **The Grid Designer sets the pattern of colored squares following a set of rules about the permissible ways in which squares may be placed. The rest of the group must discuss and decide on the best questions to ask of the Grid Designer. The Grid Designer also has the role of Observer, keeping track of the number of questions asked, how often someone gives a reason for their suggestion, and whether discussion occurred before a question was asked (rather than someone just shouting out a question).

**Rules for designing the grid:**

The Grid Designer must use 3 squares each of 3 different colors.

Squares of the same color must be connected by at least one full side.

Here is an example of a **permissible** grid:

Here are two examples of **non-permissible** grids:

Note that colors that are only connected by a diagonal do NOT meet the requirements.

**Rules for asking questions:**

The group may ask what colors are in a certain row or column, but the Grid Designer does not necessarily give the quantity or position of the colors in that row or column.

Students can use their grid and colored paper squares to keep track of the clues. (They can put the squares beside the rows and columns before their exact position is determined.)

Students should take turns being the Grid Designer/Observer.

After they have played 1 or 2 rounds, make it more challenging by allowing the Grid Designer to use any of the four colors, in any quantity, as long as colors are connected by at least one full side.

### Debriefing Rainbow Logic

After students have had about 10-20 minutes to play Rainbow Logic in their groups (with multiple students having a turn at being the Grid Designer/Observer), bring the whole class back together. Use some of the following questions or make up your own to guide a class discussion:

What did your group do well?

What things did your group struggle with?

How did you decide what questions to ask of the grid designer?

Observers, what are some of the things you noticed about how your group members came up with their question?

What question are you really proud of?

What did you learn that helped you/would help you figure out the pattern in fewer numbers of questions?

How did your group members help you ask better questions?

What from the Rainbow Logic activity do you think would help you in other group work situations?

You may want to list out students' suggestions from the last question on a piece of poster paper or on the whiteboard.

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