Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Multiplication Division Problem Solving with Explorers

We finally got a great big snowfall and I awoke to this scene out of my front door. 5 inches of the most wonderful snow. Oh joy!
I was SO in need of a day off to just hang out with my family and play.  That is just what we did.


I made the most of the day and we lazed around for awhile and then got busy making this snowman. It was perfect snowman making snow.  Heavy and wet.  Even the dog got into the act.

I'm taking a quick minute to post about the math problem solving we are doing in class lately.  We have been working on multiplying and dividing for a few weeks now.  I'm trying to give students many opportunities to apply what they are learning in problem solving situations.  In an attempt to review our Explorer history content along with some math practice, I made up the following math problems.  Students use the little explorer cut outs as manipulatives to show the math before recording the problems on the problem sheet. Working out their math thinking with the pieces allows them to "see" if they are combining groups and multiplying or breaking groups and dividing.  Too many students tend to just grab the numbers and slap a symbol of operation without thinking it through. 

If you are interested in the explorer problems, email me and I'll send them out to you.
My students all have math journals and I'm having students work with problem solving partners almost every day now.  They get a typed problem that is glued to the top of their journal page.  Then they meet with a partner to discuss and solve.  The problems I give them can be tough and students will at times struggle as they work toward a solution.  But isn't that when some of the best learning happens!  We always go over it immediately after and students come up to share their solutions.
check out all the different ways this student was able to show his thinking!
Awesome stuff!
Another example:
OK- so finally here is a set of ten  Pyramid Problem Sheets that I use with my third graders as "check ups". 
I find my students need constant review of the old math concepts along with repeated exposures to the new math we are currently learning. These are cumulative review sheets to use as warm ups or homework sheets. 
Check out my TPT page if interested: