Using a Gallery Viewing in Math

gallery viewing how-to

A Gallery Viewing is a non-threatening way for students to receive feedback on their work, check their understanding, and see multiple solution paths for a given math task. It is an ideal opportunity for students to see and discuss multiple ways of approaching and representing math thinking (as described in the Rule of Four).

Here is one way of conducting a Gallery Viewing in your classroom.

1. An assigned task/activity is worked on by a team of 3–6 students that form Home Base Teams.

2. When the teams finish their collaborative work poster, they each display their work around the classroom. This can take the form of a poster, or it can be a simple as laying their work out on the tables.

3. Inform the teams that they will visit each one of the posters to generate a discussion about the work/poster that each group did. There are (at least) two options to direct students’ observations and thinking during the Gallery Viewing.

  • Students may post comments and/or clarifying questions on their peers’ work with sticky notes.  Provide, or have students generate, clear guidelines to help groups write useful and appropriate comments. 
  • Students may fill out a Gallery Viewing Response Sheet instead of posting their thinking directly on their classmates’ work. In this case, you may choose to direct students to pick one or more posters to focus their thinking on.​

4. Once each team has visited each of the posters, they return to their poster and review the comments left by the other groups or discuss their Gallery Viewing Response Sheets. If there is time, and after considering the work that they saw on others’ posters and/or the comments and questions that were left, they may modify their work on the poster.

5. Collect any clarifying questions that were posted on the posters with sticky notes or on the Response Sheets and begin a whole group discussion.

6. Each clarifying question is directed to the collaborative group that generated and/or created the poster. To facilitate the discussion, you read each clarifying question and then write them on a white board/smart board/chart paper, identifying each question by team name/number (i.e., Group 1, 2 or by the Group’s invented name, if appropriate).

7. Then a discussion ensues. You give each team the floor when their question is brought up. The team is given the opportunity to answer the clarifying question, which can be done by one representative from the group or by all the group members chiming in when appropriate and/or when there is a pause after a team member adds a final comment.

As your class develops a comfortable routine around Gallery Viewing, you can extend the activity by asking students to generate the questions that they will respond to as they observe the posters, either on sticky notes or on Response Sheets. In some cases, you can have students generate prompts or questions that they would like observers to respond to about their specific poster.

This page was last updated on February 24, 2023