Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching Math Home   Sitemap
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Problem SolvingSession 03 OverviewTab atab btab ctab dtab eReference
Part A

Observing Student Problem Solving
  Introduction | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Counters | Problem Reflection #1 | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Numbers and Cubes | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal


Take some time to reflect on these open-ended questions. Select "Show Answer" to see our comments or if you need help thinking about the questions.

Question: As the class begins to work, the teacher notices that Angela and Mariko appear to be stuck. What does the teacher do to help them get started?

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Sample Answer:
She asks questions to be certain that they understand the words in the problems (vehicle), to review the information in the problem, to focus on the question they are trying to answer, and to have them describe how they might get started.

Question: The girls have decided to make a model of the vehicles and wheels using the counters to represent the wheels. Why is this an effective strategy for young children?

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Sample Answer:
The use of manipulative materials enables students to move the materials around to try to fit the conditions of the problem. For young children, who are at the concrete operational stage, this strategy enables them to explore mathematical ideas without having to do a great deal of writing or using symbols, since the models are visual.

Question: How does the teacher encourage the students to extend their thinking?

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Sample Answer:
The teacher asks them to see if they can find another solution to the problem, which helps them think about the problem in more than one way. It also helps young students realize early on that many problems have more than one possible solution.

Next  Observe more student work

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