Happy Wednesday! I recently read Chapter 4 of the book, What’s your Math Problem? and this was my favorite chapter so far. This chapter is all about the students using math problem solving strategies to get themselves organized before or while they are solving a problem.
The math problem solving strategies discussed in this chapter are:
- Look for a Pattern
- Create a Table
- Create an Organized List
- Guess and Check (My Favorite! This one rarely let me down in college math..hehe!)
It is important to note that these strategies do not have to be used in isolation. In fact, many students will use the strategies together or with another strategy. For example, a student may organize their guesses from Guess and Check into a table (Create a Table strategy).
Here is a break down of each strategy:
Look for a Pattern: This strategy starts in Kindergarten and has the students looking for numerical relationships through identifying, extending, or generalizing patterns.
Create a Table: This strategy will helps the student organize the information presented in the problem so that they can use another strategy to reach the solution.
Create an Organized List: this strategy is very similar to Create a Table in that it helps the students organize their information.
Guess and Check: This strategy, though often used by many students, could be developed into a more efficient problem solving strategy.
I loved how the book was all about modeling these strategies with the students. If modeled correctly and practiced enough in the younger grades, these students will be able to use these strategies fluently to solve more complex problems in grades 3-5.
The chapter provided different problems for each strategy to try out. The purpose was to have the reader reflect on how they were using the strategy and whether it was effective or not. Yikes! Math problems during the summer?! But, this inspired me to write similar word problems to use to model these strategies in the first weeks of school. Here they are with a chalkboard format. This format would be good for projecting them on a smartboard or promethean board because who has all that ink. 😀