# Archive for April, 2019

## Problem Solving on the Rekenrek

The rekenrek is great tool to help students actually think through and model word problems. In this video, Dr. Nicki and her cousin work through various problem types using the rekenrek.   Here are 3 different ways to use the rekenrek to work on word problems:

1:  Students read word problems and solve them on the rekenrek.

2.  Students pick an equation and tell a word problem and solve it on the rekenrek.

3.  Match the model (premade cards) and the word problem

Here is a link to the video: https://youtu.be/W-KtbWH-SRo

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Modeling Math Word Problems

When we are teaching strategies for problem solving, we must be “facilitative rather than prescriptive (Willis and Fuson, 1998).”

It is really important that students act out problems, model them with concrete materials, draw them and make diagrams.  We need to help students think about modeling their thinking at all grades (including 4,5,6 etc.).  Any unit of study can be approached from a hands-on, connected to real life, engaging manner. Pape (2004) notes that

If students are encouraged to understand and meaningfully represent            mathematical word problems rather than directly translate the elements of the     problems into corresponding mathematical operations, they may more successfully solve these problems and better comprehend the mathematical concepts embedded within them.

Students should be encouraged to model their thinking with concrete tools, templates and models.  Combined these power tools help to scaffold even the hardest of word problems and make them all doable!

Here are some great virtual tools!

https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/apps

http://www.didax.com/math/virtual-manipulatives.html

http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/mathematics/ebook_assets/vmf/VMF-Interface.html

P.S. See previous posts on toolkits:

https://guidedmath.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/math-toolkits-part-2-primary-toolkits/

https://guidedmath.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/math-toolkits-part-1/

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Tuesday Tool Spotlight: Geoboards

Geoboards are great! They are often underutilized for a variety of reasons.  One big  one is the “shooting of rubberbands.”  Just teach students how to work with the boards and anybody that violates the rules instantly gets a consequence.  Students can and should work with geoboards.  Here are 5 things to think about!

1. Tasks should be clear: Here are some free task card links: https://mathgeekmama.com/geoboard-activity-cards/   and https://thestemlaboratory.com/free-geoboard-challenges   and  https://filefolderfun.com/FirstGradeMath/PrintableGeoboardShapes   and http://www.makinglearningfun.com/GeoboardNumberCards.html  and http://justfordaisy.blogspot.com/2012/10/making-geoboard-busy-bag-with-activity.html  and for more ideas google: geoboard animals, task cards, numbers, shapes, pictures, math  (for example when students make the animals: have them think about how many straight lines, how many curved lines, how many intersecting lines, how many parallel lines they used)
2. Supplies should be organized! https://www.instagram.com/p/cXIBasRmAd/
3. Use virtual tools: https://apps.mathlearningcenter.org/geoboard/
4. Marilyn Burns wrote a great intro to using them: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/how-i-introduced-geoboard-my-classroom-0/  and  https://www.thoughtco.com/using-a-geo-board-in-math-2312391
5. Use the geoboard paper to have students record their thinking! Google Geoboard paper and tons of pdfs will come up.  There are different kinds!  Use the big one, the one with 4 on a page and the others.  Give students a choice.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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