# Problem Solving

## Rich Math Tasks in English and Spanish! Do them in Guided Math Groups and Math Centers

Eureka!  I’ve struck gold! I found a site with rich math tasks in English and Spanish! Yeaaaaa;)  So be sure to check out these tasks! I would do some of these in guided math groups, so I could watch the students doing the math.  I would observe and question them along the way.  I would also put some of these in the math word problem solving center and let the students work in pairs to solve them.  Be sure to have the students show their thinking with a mathematical model and to talk about their strategies for solving the problem.  Also have them write to explain their steps and check their answer in a different way.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Word Problem Center Task Cards

Here is a set of 24 task cards for the word problem math center. Here is a different set.  The word problem solving center is a place for students to engage in rigorous thinking.  In this center, they should

1)select a card

2)draw a model of their thinking to solve the problem

3) write a matching equation

4) write how they solved the problem

5) check their answer in a different way than the original way they did it

Let me know how it goes!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Some Problems of the Week

Here are some great problems of the week to either do as a whole class, in centers or in guided math groups.  Remember that you want students to show a model of their thinking and describe a strategy ( a way of thinking about the numbers).  They should write about how they solved the problem and check it in a different way than they first solved it.

Remember that when you are teaching problems you should refer to the problem type.  The research says if teachers help students to have a conceptual understanding of the problem then they can better solve it.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Problem solving sample pack

Great resource for problem solving across the curriculum.  An exellent 2nd grade sample pack.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Problem Solving Across the CCSS Content Domains: Practice in Guided Math Groups

There is a big emphasis on problem solving across the curriculum in the new Math Common Core.  We find a great deal of problem solving in operations and algebraic thinking but it is also heavily woven throughout measurement and data as well as fractions and place value domains.   What are you doing to make sure that your students are problem solving across the curriculum?  Have you mapped it out to ensure that you solve different types of problems throughout the week?  If you do a Do Now or a Problem of the Day routine…what do these problems look like?  Are you doing money, time, graphs, fractions, mass and volume problems often, depending on your grade level?  Here are a few examples from the CCSS Domains listed below:

2.MD.8. Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies…

2.MD.10.  Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems1 using information presented in a bar graph.

3.MD.1. . Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes…

3.MD.2.  Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units…

• 4Nf3Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole and having like denominators…
• 4NF4Solve word problems involving multiplication of a fraction by a whole number…
• 5.NF.2. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole, including cases of unlike denominators…
• 5.NF.3. Solve word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers…
I would do problem solving as an ongoing class routine, in guided math groups and in problem solving centers.
Let me know how you’re doing!
Happy Mathing,
Dr. Nicki
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## Fraction Resources and More: Great to Use in Guided Math Groups

Here is a great math resource.  The sidebar on the left has folders for different topics.  Just open a folder and click the icon down and several resources on that topic will appear. Here is the fraction page.  There are different games and manipulatives to use to practice.  For example, the fraction folder has cards, numberlines and tiles.  Check it out!  These are the types of activities that are aligned with the Math Common Core.  Students should be able to draw their own illustrations of fractions and numberlines. In order to do this, they must have several experiences working with these types of materials.  Have the students use these things to make up story problems as well.  They is a big emphasis in the CCSS on problem solving across the domains.  Students should practice telling stories with visuals, numberlines and manipulatives.  Have the students work on these activities in centers as well as use them when working in small guided math groups.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Math Exemplars: Great for Guided Math Centers

Here is an exemplar.

Resource 1 -http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/5000/10305062.pdf

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Some great math exemplars: Guided Math Group Work

Here are some great exemplars.  I think it is good to do them in small guided math groups, so you can see what students are doing and they can talk through their approaches.  When you are looking at exemplars, you want to notice if the students are meeting the content standard as well as the mathematical practices.  Set up some criteria for the students.  Practice doing a bunch of exemplars together and then also have the students do them in partners and groups.  You want to scaffold the learning and give students a sense of success.

Resource 1

Resource 2

Resource 3

Let me know what you are doing with exemplars:)  Do you do them daily, weekly, monthly?  Does your school have a plan?  Does the grade level have a plan?  Do you do exemplars across the content domains?  Let me know and send me examples of the great stuff you are doing out there!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Great Math Talk Materials:

Here is a great find for working on math talk in your classroom!  Look for these highlights:

1) Great discussion about building a culture of talk and the levels of talk in a classroom

2) A few sample units illustrating student talk and showing their thinking

3) Graphic Organizers for creating math partners

4) Game Templates

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Numberlines are a great math model: Use in small guided math groups

The Math Common Core emphasizes the use of number lines to help students understand the math they are doing.  See this site to have a close look at how that looks across the grade levels.  Numberlines are underutilized across the grade levels.  Start using them in Pre-k (by having the students walk a big numberline).  In 1st and 2nd grade they should use big ones that they can walk and little ones that they can use to explore, model and discuss their thinking. In 3rd, 4th and 5th grades students can work on multiplication, division, fractions and elapsed time with numberlines.

Remember that numberlines are models for mathematical thinking.  Whenever students  are using models, they should be explaining their thinking as they work.  Be sure to do some of this in Guided Math groups so that students can spend time discussing the mathematics.  They should not only talk about how they are representing their thinking but what the math is behind the representation.  All students should have time to talk with each other, ask questions and respond, and small guided math groups allow them this time.

Please be sure to let me know how it goes!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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