Thursday, July 3, 2014

Flash Sale July 3

To continue my July flash sales of all my August products, I move on to my Daily Word Problem series.  Today ONLY my August Word Problems are 1/2 off!
I began creating these monthly word problems packs last year as a request from my teammates.  I have always done a lot of word problems in my classroom and it was a perfect way to share with them what and how I do it.  So, I began in December with these packs and each month created one with themed word problems.

But when I went back to think about August word problems I knew that the format would have to be a little bit different because our kiddos are so brand new to problem solving (and everything else for that matter) in August.  The word problem is written at the top with space for students to draw a picture.  I don't know about you, but my kinder babies have always fallen into two categories- those that love to draw and are good at it and take a really long time and those that could care less about it.  This was a problem in math because if the word problem said "I have three pencils." some students took FOREVER drawing detailed pencils and others were finished in two seconds with their pencils.  So, we talked about it as a class.  I explained to them that their detailed drawings of the word problem wasn't the important part.  We talked about drawing during our writing time and how it is different than drawing in math time.  And, we decided as a  class, that we were NOT going to draw the objects with lots of details in our math word problems.  We decided that it was enough to represent our objects with circles or squares or lines and that the important part of it was our MATH not our drawings.  This made problem solving a lot easier because it took less time when they weren't worried about what their pencil looked like.

So, the big part of each problem solving page is the space for the picture.  Students generally begin as direct modelers of word problems so whether they use manipulatives and then draw a picture to show what they did with the manipulatives or just draw  a picture there's plenty of room for them to work.

The bottom section is the big difference between later word problems and August and September word problems.  In  later months, I have an empty number line, a space for the equation, and a empty number bond.  But, that was just too much for August.  The bottom section is totally optional for the student and it can become a teaching moment when students are sharing.  It's also great for those early finishers because you can ask them to show how they solved it using one of those other tools at the bottom.

I decided to put a ten frame at the bottom and hands.  The ten frame is just a great tool for them to see all the time and it's easy for the student to represent the two sets with different colors on the ten frame.  I put the hands there because my team noticed last year that this particular group of students had NO IDEA how to use their fingers to do math.  It's the first time we've ever noticed it because it seems like students just come in instinctively knowing that their fingers can help them count- not this last group!  I literally had to teach them how to use their fingers to help them add! So, that's why the hands are there in August because, in case they don't know how to use their fingers, we can practice it from day one.  [Not that I really WANT them using their fingers as their only tool- but it was just so bizarre that NO ONE even had the thought that they could use their fingers]

Another big part of this word problem packet are the journal page strips.  I actually use these more than the whole sheets because I have students doing most of their problem solving in a composition notebook.

Each word problem is also on one sheet in these strips- copy the page, cut apart the strips and students glue them into a page of composition notebook.  Then students solve the problem however they choose.  Same idea, just a little less paper to use!  And then you can use the whole sheets when you want to take a grade or get an idea of how students are progressing on a particular problem type.

A little note about problem types:
The word problems this month are all basic problem types- Add to Results Unknown, Take From Results Unknown and Part Whole Whole Unknown with just a few Put Together Addend Knowns thrown in there for fun!

Happy Problem Solving!


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