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Monday, September 8, 2014

Problem Solving

In first grade, our math curriculum is Everyday Mathematics. While we like this curriculum and think it challenges all kids in different ways, we do supplement it occasionally with other math lessons. The post from last week about "subitizing" or seeing the dots on a card in groups to avoid counting one by one is just one way we supplement the curriculum. Another way is by having Math Exchange days where we work on multi-step real-life problems that require some sort of mathematical thinking to solve them. On Friday, we had our first whole group Math Exchange day - sometime these days these problems are solved in a whole group and sometimes they are done in small groups. As we are learning more about how to solve problems, we will work in a large group with the whole crew. Later, we will split off into smaller groups based on concepts that students need to work on or solving problems will be the "just right" challenge for them.

Below are the problems we worked on followed by some examples of student thinking about those problems. We are all working to become mathematicians who are fluent in using many different strategies to solve problems.

Curious Cats
Five curious cats went exploring in a freshly painted room. Four got paint on their front paws and one got paint on its back paws. How many paws didn't have any paint on them?

How Many Animals?
If a new neighbor moves in with pet dogs and birds, how many animals can there be if there are 10 legs altogether? Is there more than one answer? 
One dog and 3 birds have 10 legs altogheter

Two dogs and one bird have 10 legs altogether

Most of us used the strategy of drawing a picture for solving these two problems but some of us experimented with using numbers or tally marks to solve them, too.

These two were so proud of the patterns that they created using dominoes. This is why I love teaching first grade.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.4 Numbers Before and After

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading your blog, seeing photos, and appreciate all your hard work. Thank you for engaging these young people in their education. Clearly, they are learning, sharing, playing and laughing in your class. Susan Soklin (Gavin's grandma)