Thursday, April 22, 2010

What is a Bansho?

Bansho is a High Yield strategy that you can use in your class with your students. It is used in Japan as a way to help students learn different processes in which they can solve a problem. Bansho literally comes from the Japanese word meaning "blackboard." In math, we use it as a way to display student solutions from the least to most mathematically rich. It is not about assessing the students work - It is about looking at solutions, annotating work and discussing solutions.

The above Bansho was done at the FOS Transitions session. The teachers completed a problem in pairs and then we (the facilitators) organized their solutions. The organization of the solutions also involves some thought and discussion. As more samples came up, some were moved to different places along our Bansho. Once the solutions were organized, as a group we discussed them and put a label at the bottom of each one. On the far left we had identified the work as logical reasoning, to the far right we had graphing.

Bansho allows students the opportunity to see many different ways of solving a problem. It works best when your students are in an environment where the consolidation (or congress) is happening in your class. In fact, once your students are comfortable in consolidating their work you can then move onto doing a Bansho as consolidation.

You can learn more about a Bansho by visiting these websites:

(This one is a PowerPoint from the LNS - Lots of colour pictures) - Grade 5 - Growing Weave Designs

(This is a video with not only a Bansho clip - but other High Yield strategies in Literacy and Numeracy as well)


  1. I'm not sure if you're reading the comments, but thanks for this post, Lesley. I remember Susan talking about Bansho last year. This helps put it into focus. I'll check out the links.
    Love the blog!!! Does this blog have to be kept only within the TDSB, or can I link it in my teacher/parent blog?
    All the best,

  2. very useful information and help enrich teachers' skills in teaching

  3. You may want to check out the new LNS monograph on the Bansho. It was just published, so it's fresh off the press and includes a lesson study Bansho to try.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. very useful information and can be used to complete my paper for international mat sympossium. Thanks a lot

  6. Glad you found it useful Afrial. :)

  7. I'm still blur with this bansho strategy. Are we simply starting the topic with problem solving questions or we show/teach the initial concept (let say the concept of fraction) before move on applying bansho?