# Archive for April 4th, 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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