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Background For Teachers:
“The skills and strategies needed for successful mathematical problem solving start developing in the preschool years, when children acquire a basic conceptual understanding of the base 10 numerical system… Students in grades three, four, and five continue to apply and refine the skills and strategies necessary to solve real life mathematics problems… However, many students, especially students with learning disabilities, have difficulty solving math word problems because they often cannot decide what to do to solve the problem. Most textbooks are not very helpful when it comes to teaching students how to solve math problems.
This lesson will explore a variety of strategies, methods, and classroom structures that can be used in helping students to become better problem solvers, but the main focus of the lesson will be on using a “whole/part” model that can be used as a tool to help students understand and solve one and two operation problems that are required by the fifth Grade Math Core. This “whole/part” model also relates to the fifth Grade Science Core, Standard 1, which deals with physical and chemical changes in matter. In this science standard students learn that matter cannot be created or destroyed, and that the sum of the parts is equal to the whole. Often this is a hard concept for students to understand, but, by using the “whole/part” model in math and science, it can help to deepen students understanding of this fundamental concept.
When students approach a math problem, they need to be armed with strategies that will
allow them to be successful. Since students face a wide variety of problems, they need a
variety of strategies. The “whole/part” approach is just one approach to problem solving
and is not applicable to all types of problems. It works well for many one step “choose an
operation” type problems and many multiple‐step problems.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Explain to the class that today they will be discussing problem solving, and to get everyone into the spirit of problem solving you are going to give them some problems to solve. Have students find the Problem Solving Quiz (this quiz has trick questions and riddles) and work the problems. Give participants time to complete the quiz. Discuss the answers to the questions and have students share strategies they used to find the answers.
Problem Solving Quiz Answers
Lesson and Activity Time Schedule:
Activity Connected to Lesson:
Problem Writing Activity:
Encourage students to share or teach what they have learned about model drawing with
parents and family members.
Created Date :