What is "Would You Rather?" and how do I engage my students in this routine?
I discovered this routine through Tracy Zager's Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had. She suggested this routine as a strategy to develop students' ability to use their intuition. In this routine students must apply their intuition and reason what makes sense in different scenarios. John Stevens has curated an excellent "Would You Rather" site with many elementary and secondary examples.
I begin by presenting the two scenarios and allow the students individual thinking time, as well as time to share their thinking with their peers. Next, I ask for volunteers to share their choice and justify their reasoning.
Guiding Questions:
What’s going on here?
What are you noticing?
Tell me something about this problem.
What do you estimate your answer might be?
Stop there for a second. We’re in the details, but can you remind us why you were figuring that out in the first place?
Before you calculate that, can you tell us why you’d want to?
Were you working off a hunch? Did it work? Why or why not?
What was going on through your head when you noticed that?
What tipped you off that something wasn’t right?
Does anything strike you as unreasonable here, or does it hold together?
What would convince you?
I begin by presenting the two scenarios and allow the students individual thinking time, as well as time to share their thinking with their peers. Next, I ask for volunteers to share their choice and justify their reasoning.
Guiding Questions:
What’s going on here?
What are you noticing?
Tell me something about this problem.
What do you estimate your answer might be?
Stop there for a second. We’re in the details, but can you remind us why you were figuring that out in the first place?
Before you calculate that, can you tell us why you’d want to?
Were you working off a hunch? Did it work? Why or why not?
What was going on through your head when you noticed that?
What tipped you off that something wasn’t right?
Does anything strike you as unreasonable here, or does it hold together?
What would convince you?
What is the learning?
Depending on the options the teacher selects, any mathematical content area can be explored.
Some potential learning intentions for curricular competencies include:
Some potential learning intentions for curricular competencies include:
 Reasoning and Analyzing  use reasoning to determine which option is preferred
 Understanding and Solving  engaging in solving the math involved in each session and comparing the two scenarios using multiple strategies.
 Communicating and Representing  communicate and represent mathematical thinking in many ways, explain and justify preference
 Connecting and Reflecting  connect mathematical concepts and reflect on mathematical thinking
Examples:
If you have any "Which Would You Rather" examples you'd like to share, please consider emailing John Stevens, author of the Would You Rather Site.



Supporting Websites:
Would You Rather  This site is curated by John Stevens and has many examples, both elementary and secondary.