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chris/4/pa chris/4/pa is offline
 
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problem solving
Old 11-11-2017, 03:29 PM
 
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Saw an interesting suggestion to take the numbers out of word problems (replace them with stars or a sound, like a beep) to make the students focus on what the problem is about. Plan to try it, but wanted to know if anyone had tried this. Did it help? Am making a commitment to teach word problems in depth this year. My students don't seem to understand what a problem is saying. Am hoping this procedure will help.


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I think it is a great idea!
Old 11-11-2017, 09:24 PM
 
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Kids need more experiences so they can work problems. At least that is my opinion.

Do they spend cash anymore and get back change? I think this is rare today.It is just zip zip with the debit or credit card.

Do they cook from scratch? Reading and following directions is good for them but that is an LA skill. But measuring and using fractions in cooking is a big help to their math skills. Today kids just pop prepared items into the microwave.

Do kids measure items at home when they build a bird house or dog house? Or help measure windows for new curtains or what size throw rug they need beside the bed? Do they make crafts where they might need to measure? I don't think so. They are busy watching television. If they were still engaged in a variety of activities around the home they might have some measuring skills to carry into math class.

Do they read maps? Determine milage using the scale? Learn to estimate? Oh no they are using a GPS.

Do they learn to tell time on an analog clock where they get more of a sense of time passing slowly? If so they can use that background knowledge to solve elapsed time problems. No they read digital clocks.

I am not saying they should do everything the old fashioned way. New technology is part of life and important too. However, it does not teach them the same skills that they need when reading a real life math problem that needs to solved.

I think getting parents to buy into giving children these experiences is important. Then as educators we can also allow them to act these problems out in class with their teammates. With both of these experiences kids will become better at solving math word problems.

Therefore looking at the problem without numbers first sounds like an excellent idea.

Let us know how this works in your classroom.
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Yes!
Old 11-13-2017, 07:47 PM
 
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I teach 3rd but I'd do this now no matter the grade. I learned this a few years ago and it has made a big difference. We also practice visualizing the "action" in the situation, describing it verbally, rewriting what what the question is asking to find, and filling out a part-part-whole diagram and equation. I leave the numbers for after all that. It also makes it a lot easier to differentiate by using different sets of numbers.
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