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Math Problem Solving Thinglink (Primary)

April 7, 2015

problem solving

In order to increase the critical thinking skills of students, they need daily practice with problem solving.
The experience of solving word problems on a daily basis helps the students make the connection from classroom mathematics to real-world mathematics.
Creating word problems,using the names of the students in class, helps to motivate the students.
Also, creating word problems based on themes such as the seasons, animals, or topics of classroom studies or interests, will also help the students to connect to the problems.

There is a difference between a math strategy and a math procedure.
A strategy is a method or a plan such as draw a picture, make a model, or make a table.
A procedure is a series of steps taken, such as circle the important numbers, and underline the question.
The Thinglink below provides both strategies and a procedure checklist (CUBES).

There is also a difference in “telling” students to use math strategies and allowing students to “tell” how they solved the math problem. A friendly and encouraging learning environment helps the students to feel free to take risks. The more practice they have in verbalizing their strategy and thoughts, the more success they will have in solving the problems and increasing their critical thinking.
My first graders learned to use the app, Educreations. They would work in groups of 4 to solve a word problem.
They would take a picture of the problem with the iPad, insert it into an Educreations slide, then follow the math procedures we had practiced in whole group. (CUBES- included in Thinglink)
Each member of the group would have a specific role:
Facilitator-Assured everyone had input and stayed on task; implemented CUBES
Strategist-Led the discussion as to what strategy would be used
Problem solver- Actually solved the problem according to the discussion of the group
Reporter-Shared solution with the class
Students would get the opportunity to take on each of the roles.

The Problem of the Day Google slides that are on this Thinglink can be paced out according to the needs of your class, or the time allowed.Once students get into the routine, the time allotment could be as little as 15 minutes.
Students will need manipulatives and math journals, or iPads.
The Problem of the Day Google slides can also be used on Smartboards.
The important element of this Problem of the Day activity is to have the students talk and tell how they solved the problem.

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