## 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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## Word Problem Galore

Here is a great site for getting good word problems!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## More Word Problem Resources

Here are some 3rd, 4th and 5th grade word problem resources!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## 4 Must Have Workstations: Problem Solving Part 2

In the word problem station, students should also be writing problems. Remember that reasoning has to do with both contextualizing (numbers to words) and decontextualizing (words to numbers). So, make sure you give the students opportunities to write word problems at least once or twice a week. The research states that it is important to give the students the units along with the numbers.

Must read article: The Answer is 20 Cookies, What’s the question?

See my word problem Pinterest Board for some ideas (anchor charts of Think Math)

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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## 4 Must Have Workstations

There are a variety of workstations that you can set up throughout the year. But, there are 4 must have workstations that you should set up all year long. Why? Because these workstations allow students to engage in distributed practice throughout the year on the basic skills and content for their grade level. I am going to list the stations below and during the next couple of weeks. I will write extensively about these stations and how to use them.

Workstation 1: Fluency – You need a fluency station that is leveled and allows students to review facts they know and practice facts that they are working on.

Workstation 2: Word Problems- Remember in the CCSSM there are specific word problem types assigned to each grade level. Do you currently take this into account? Do you know what types your students have proficiency with?

Workstation 3: Vocabulary – Math is a language. If you want your students to speak it, they must know the words and phrases.

Workstation 4: Digital – Our students are called Digital Natives and we are called the Immigrants by Prensky(2001). How is this reflected in your math workstations.

I look forward to a wonderful discussion about workstations with you in the next couple of weeks!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

Reference: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prensky%20-%20digital%20natives,%20digital%20immigrants%20-%20part1.pdf

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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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## An interesting problem solving packet!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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## Great Primary Math Resource!

Here it is! This packet has great word problem stuff!

Happy Mathing,

Dr. Nicki

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