## Personalizing Word Problems

Many researchers have looked deeply at the impact of personalization of word problems on student achievement. Bailey notes that students “don’t care how many apples Bob gave to Suzy. They’re much more interested in things like music, video games, movies, trading cards, money, and friends” (Bailey, 2002, p. 61). Giordano (1990) maintains that, “student fascination with problems can be enhanced when names, locations, and events are changed to personal referents” (p. 25). Researchers agree that student motivation and interest increases engagement with the work (Fairbairn, 1993, Hart, 1996). It is important that these problems be rooted in students’ real lives (Ensign, 1997).

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

See Article (copy and paste url)

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## Writing Multiplication Problems

Here is a great site to get started. Remember that in the CCSS students are suppose to solve and pose word problems! This is in most standards, whether or not your using the CCSS content.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Must have Math Workstations: Math Word Problems (Part 1)

Problem Solving is super important. Students need to have many opportunities to engage with problem solving throughout math workshop. Remember that it is not about the key words but rather the problem types! Here are 5 ideas for the problem solving station.

#1 Do Word Problem Sorts where students have to sort the problems by types

#2 Have students solve problems using templates to scaffold their thinking

#3 Use math mats at all grade levels (students can make up all types of stories from addition/subtraction/multiplication/division/fractions and rations) (also look here under the different calculations for more mats) (and check out my math mats board) (also PROBLEM SOLVING BOOKS – CCSS ALIGNED BY GRADE)

#4 Definitely use CGI Resources (Just google CGI Math)

# 5 Use Math Playground Bar Diagramming Videos and Thinking Blocks Practice

P.S. Be sure to check out my Word Problem Pinterest Board for More ideas

P.S.S. More Great Resources!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Math Workstations: Component 2 (Differentiation)

First of all, Math Workstations are **data-driven**. Second, they are **differentiated**. After-all, you have to do something with that data. It is one thing to collect data, it is another to analyze, interpret and then provide learning experiences based on the data. What do you currently do with your data? Put it in a binder and on the shelf? How do you USE it? Key word here, **USE… **

Data should directly inform what children are doing in math workstations. Everybody shouldn’t be doing the same thing in a math workstation…otherwise it is just like doing whole group instruction (everybody at the same time doing the same thing) in small groups…with no attention to individual student needs.

Math workstations are about children engaging in **purposeful practice in their zone of proximal development. **

Math workstations **are not busy work.**

Math workstations are **engaging but more. **

Math workstations are** directly connected to where the student is on his/her learning journey.**

So, that means that in the Fluency Center…students are working on activities that help them achieve mastery where they are and help them to move onto the next level. Some students might be working on make ten facts, others might be working on doubles and still others might be working on adding 7’s,8’s and 9’s. In the Word Problem Center, some students might be working on *Take From Change Unknown* problems and others might be working on* Part Part Whole Part* *Missing *Problems. In the place value center, some students might be building numbers with base ten blocks, others might be drawing out representations and others might be working on expanded form with styrofoam cups (at an abstract level).

Now, just ease your way into it! Don’t try to differentiate everything at once or you’ll get overwhelmed and not do any of it. Start slow, start with a plan…just start!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Talking about Word Problems

Here is a great upper elementary word problem resource! Explore some of them in whole group, some in guided math groups and put others in workstations for students to solve in groups, with partners and alone.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Elapsed Time Activities!

Here is another way to think about elapsed time. Remember that this standard is now introduced in 3rd grade in the math CCSS. I would use elapsed time rulers as well.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Modeling Fractions: Great workstation activities

Here is a great fraction unit. I especially like the exemplars and the reasoning with the models.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Great Examples of Mathematical Modeling

I travel to a lot of different states. Everywhere I go, everyone seems to be grappling with this idea of mathematical modeling. The New Math Common Core has placed a particular emphasis on Mathematical Modeling throughout. Whether or not you are aligning your curriculum to the CCSS, its explanation is revelatory. It states that:

*Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. …Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation…They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense… *

Given this criteria, are your students mathematically proficient? Do they have a repertoire of models to make sense of their mathematical thinking. Here is a great resource with plenty of examples to get you started. I found this online from the publisher. These explanations of mathematical thinking are in the front of a great series of books on problem solving using bar diagrams. When I use these books I start with a grade level below the grade level I am teaching. I would even start at the beginning of the series so the students have a conceptual understanding and procedural fluency so when they get to the more difficult problems they have a strong foundation. See the resource page below of the different types of models and let me know what you think!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Great Primary Resource Packet: Use ideas for guided math groups and math centers

Here is a packet full of great things. It includes finger flashcards, colorful ten frames flashcards, “I Have Who Has?” loop cards and a variety of great story mats with pictures. I would use these activities during guided math groups as well as in math centers. Be sure to laminate the materials. I might also use magnets on some of them so that the children could do them at a white board center. Be careful with magnets and small children though, you don’t won’t them to swallow them.

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Number Bond Resources

Number bonds are like fact families. They are looking at the relationship of three numbers. Numbers bonds are often drawn in a diagram with circles or squares that show the relationship. They are great models to help children see how three numbers “bond” together. Not only are they great for basic fact power, but also they are great for using with number stories because they are a model where children can clearly label what they know and don’t know. This is very important when solving word problems, that students are able to identify what they are looking for!

Activity Masters (I would definitely laminate some of these templates so you could use them in math centers. I would also use them as conversation starters in a guided math group too).

*Be sure to see the other post about Number Bonds!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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