Thursday, April 18, 2013

Word Problems...Oh My!

I am trying to make up for lost time by posting twice in one week.  We have officially made it to our fourth quarter and the official countdown has begun.  35 days and counting.  It is exciting and scary at the same time.  So much to teach in so little time.

Our state unrolled an unpacking document when the Common Core was introduced.  Our county then worked with teachers to create a "pacing guide" to match.  On this pacing guide it had second grade teaching 2.OA.1 in the fall.  We tried to teach this and felt like we had hit a brick wall!  It was SO hard for them and SO much over their heads.  We decided as a grade level that it wasn't fair to expect our students to complete this task that appeared to be not developmentally appropriate.  We have proceeded to push this skill off until the fourth quarter.  Well, we found ourselves here and ready to teach it...again.

We really wanted to reteach it in a completely different way so that we could make it relevant and concrete.  I did some research and found the Singapore Math teaches basic word problems and equations with a rectangular bar to visually represent an equation.  I really liked the idea of it.  But I wanted an even more concrete way to go along with the rectangles.

I came across this great idea from love2learn2day.  Isn't that awesome!?!

So I took the idea and put it together with the rectangular bars.  All week long, we have practiced with the plates and then drawn the rectangular bars to match.  Here is one of my students using the plate for a start unknown problem during our Guided Practice time.  I noticed on their math homework this week, that there were only a few students I needed to review with.  

 So today, I took the plates away as we practiced and had the students use their whiteboards.  I was so pleased with how well this worked.   
I am very happy to report that we have slotted another full week to teach this skill.  Now that we are getting the hang of it, I am excited to see what another week will do for our mastery of this skill.  

Preparing for this week, I dug deep into the Common Core and found that this skill is an Operations & Algebraic Thinking for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades.  I am pleased to know that we are helping to develop this foundational skill.

So I spent the better part of this week, creating a hands on activity to apply these word problems.  You can play it as a matching game in small groups and independent math time.  

It allows your students to practice and apply the skill of word problems.  It's perfectly suited for application of Common Core Operations & Algebraic Thinking in small groups or independent work and applies to these CCSS:
~ 2.OA.1
~ 3.OA.8
~ 4.OA.3

Includes word problems for all types of problems:
~ putting together
~ adding to
~ taking apart
~ taking from
~ comparing

The activity also uses unknown amounts in all positions using an unknown amount with a question mark (?).
Includes a recording sheet to check for accuracy!  So hop on over to my TPT store and get your copy today!  As always, our first comment will get it free!

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Word Problems!

1 comment:

  1. I love it Juli! It seems to make more sense to me that you are tackling this at this time of year, rather then the beginning of the year. We haven't started it yet either so this would be great!