Sunday, February 9, 2014

Problem Solving with Grade 4 Math Weeks 2 and 3

For this weeks update on my unit in teaching and learning how to solve word problems, persevere in solving, and make sense of them I combined weeks 2 and 3. Reason being, we had a Monday holiday as well as 3 snow days leaving few days for me to meet with my 4th grade group. Having said that we did accomplish a few tasks.

Week 1 ended with the students completion of 4 word problems created in Shooloo and then the start of commenting, critiqng, and giving feedback to 3 other student's word problems.

I started by creating a rubric of those aspects of word problems that I felt the student should be cognizant of when solving and creating word problems. I felt the rubric would serve as a guide for the students to reference and maturely and appropriately comment. The categories in the rubric had students focus on the content, organization, illustration, solution, and mechanics. I often see my students commenting on word problems with phrases such as: "great word problem" or "Oh I like cupcakes too" and "I play "Minecraft".  So initially, I modeled how to use the rubric with samples of 2 word problems on Shooloo. One word problem required few if any changes that needed to be made, therefore the feedback was to be complimentaryon any of the areas on the rubric.  The second problem modeled was one that did require constructive feedback in a few areas. Students then set off to comment, critique and give feedback independently.

In addition to commenting on word problems. I also conducted a lesson on solving two-step word problems. Students, in pairs, were to use a "Solving Two-Step Word Problems" template to map out the "who?", the "what?",  "key words and operations", and the "strategy" used in preparation for making sense of word problems and solving them.

Our next steps are to take the one step word problems already created and make them into two-step problems uisng the tree method.

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