Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Book Study: Chapter 3

So I am playing catch up as I just loaded chapter 2 because I was so exhausted from last week's beginning of school. But today.....we had a HURRICANE DAY!!!!  Yes, I live in Florida and almost all school districts closed today along the coast due to Issac. Weather is not bad at all and we probably could have gone to school!

And so...Chapter 3 is Getting Started Strategies
Looking back at chapter 2's problem solving framework, chapter 3 goes into each step more in depth because students really struggle with how to beginning solving problems!

1. Restating the problem- one needs to understand the problem before figuring out how to solve it.  A powerful statement made in this section is students need to make the problem their own!! To do this it is wise to get your kiddos to read through the problem 3 times. By doing this they can get a focus on the important information. One can start to visualize what is happening and being asked so that they can retell the problem without looking at it.

2. Identify wanted, given, & needed info-This starts to come automatically when you are able to restate the problem. In my class I always ask these questions before we dig into working the problem.  This would be great work to put into the math notebooks!  Don't focus solving the problem!  Just ask the questions and have them respond!!

3. Identify a subgoal-as students get in the higher grades we see more multi-step problems.  This is a problem because they do the first part of the problem and forget to go back to finish the problem.  I always tell my students the writer of tests to this on purpose because they know you will forget to complete the problem.  We make it as a "proving the writer wrong" which gets them excited!

4. Select appropriate notation-this is where students use strategies that represent their thinking.  One or more can be used at a time depending on the age appropriateness of the problem. It can go from a scaffolding of concrete models, to pictorial representations, to numerical notations to abstract symbols. The book states we use this for two reasons: 1. to help get to a solution and 2. to show the process you followed to get to the solution so others can understand your thinking.  This is why we always tell our students to, "show your work!"

Something to think about and ask yourself......What steps can you take to teach your students how to use these strategies when solving problems?

Until next week.......

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