Monday, 16 March 2015

Solving Number Problems

Last week, I thought really hard about the problems I was going to launch with my Integers group (who are my top group and who were AT the National Standard at the end of last year. To gauge where they were at we worked on this example together, here is a photo of Machelle's working out in her book.

Together we talked about underlining the most important parts of the problem that is going to help us solve it. Then they had to discuss with their buddy what operation they would use to solve this. Some children added 53+18 while others subtracted, 53-18. They talked about what words in the problem were clues. Children were able to say that Bella bough 18 of them and took them away and the words "how many are left?" indicated to them of what was left behind, what remained in the garden centre. Some children used ice block sticks to help them solve this. Others drew pictures and discussed with a buddy their working out.

I felt this lesson was successful. However, moving on from this I got the following problem from No Nonsense Maths Problems Bk2 Stage 6 and we had camp the following day.
Here is a photo of Amethyst's book and a link to her blog.
It was quite a tricky problem to unpack because of the way the problem was written. Again, some children added 75+38= while others said 75-38. If you click on her blog,you'll be able to see what she did to solve the problem. She shared this with our group and the others listened. Using talk moves, I asked children to repeat back, revoice and some questioned her working out. Amethyst then went on to prove her answer by using materials - iceblock sticks. The words "How many more does he need to sell?" compared to "How many are left?" is quite a stretch for some children's understanding. We took note of how this problem has lots more words than the last problem we had.

Where to from here? Keep focusing on problem solving, using talk moves, using materials, pulling the knowledge back to ensure children know how to break tens and encouraging active listening.

1 comment:

  1. Do you think the time you are spending on unpacking the problems is paying off? Are more students able to access the learning than before?