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problem solving and retention

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 cinciteacher Joined: Oct 2009 Posts: 62 Junior Member
cinciteacher

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 62
Junior Member
problem solving and retention
07-19-2012, 02:45 PM
 #1

I promised myself I wouldn't start working on school stuff until Aug 1 but here I am....brainstorming. This will be my 4th year teaching 6th and 8th grade Math. I am still exploring the best way to attach problem solving and review/retention of old concepts (especially for my lower students). Can you share what works for you? I am trying to get a lot of ideas to be able to pull from for my classroom. Thanks!

 trexteach Joined: Aug 2006 Posts: 3,999 Senior Member
trexteach

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,999
Senior Member
couple of suggestions of what works for me
07-19-2012, 09:31 PM
 #2

I teach 5th, but I'm sure these would work for the older kids, too.

Problem Solving--Show the kids examples of problems that anonymous, former students (or those from another classroom) have solved. If the problem is a 4 pointer, for instance, show them examples of work that would be scored a 4, 3, 2, 1, and even a 0.

When I do this with my class, for math or any other subject, they are able to analyze each with me. They share how they were also looking at it the way one of the other students was. They can see the actual work that was done and compare how they solved the problem with all the others. These samples lead to good classroom discussions and really do help the students be more critical when they're looking over their own strategies. The math book we use includes an open response question (problem solving/application) at the end of each unit. What's nice is that they already include samples of different student work so I don't have to select the pieces.

Review/Retention--My students always like review games of some sort. One of their favorites, and mine, even though it stresses them out , is when I play a circular review. It goes something like this: I place all the desks in a huge circle. Kids stand around the outside of the circle of desks with a pencil and a piece of paper numbered from 1 to 25 (or however many kids are in your class) in hand.

On each desk is an index card with a review question on it. In the upper corner of each card, I've written a number from 1 to 25 (Again, depends on how many kids you have.) Cards are placed face down on each desk before the game begins. Students do not see what's written on the cards until the game begins. I stand in the center of the circle with a stopwatch in hand.

When I say go, the students turn over the card on the desk in front of them and answer the question. Make sure they know ahead of time that they are to write the answer next to the matching problem number. Depending on the abilities of your students, you have a set amount of time you give them to solve each review problem before you say, "Switch" or "Move" or something like that. I have the Accelerated Math class, so I usually only give my students about 45 to 60 seconds per problem.

Everyone should end up back where they started when the game is over. Since this takes up the majority of a class period, I collect their papers, after making sure their names are on them , and tell them we'll go over the answers during the next class.

I love to hear their giggles when they beat the timer and their sighs of frustration as they are trying to remember something before I give the signal to move.

 cinciteacher Joined: Oct 2009 Posts: 62 Junior Member
cinciteacher

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 62
Junior Member

07-29-2012, 09:50 AM
 #3

Wow! Thank you for taking the time for such a detailed response! Love the ideas!

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Math & Science