Grade 5

Challenging Word Problems

Advanced Model Drawing Virtual Class Homework #6

Try a bar model and post in the comment section below.

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Challenging Word Problem

Advanced Model Drawing Virtual Class Homework #5

Try a bar model and post in the comment section below.

 

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Challenging Word Problem

Advanced Model Drawing Virtual Class Homework #4

 

Try a model and share in the comment section below.

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Frustrasted with Fractions

Dear Sarah,

I am dying with my 5th grade…they are struggling with fractions (the chapter is hard) and with not a strong Singapore foundation from last year…well…we are on our 4th week! Should I do the 4th grade fractions chapter?? I honestly am at a loss.

Thanks

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Do students need to draw the bars when solving word problems?

Dear Sarah,

I am currently in the unit of Parts to Whole, teaching bar modeling.  Looking ahead, it seems to me that bar modeling is a big part of not only this unit but upcoming units as well.

My wondering and question: I have students who are looking at the problems and can figure them out by stacking numbers then using the renaming strategy which was what they learned in lessons before bar modeling.  Should I be encouraging all of my students to draw the bar model before stacking the numbers to solve the problem? How critical is it for them to bar model? Please know that I am not saying that I don’t want to teach it at all, but I don’t know how much I should be “pushing” those that either don’t understand it or those that feel like they can work the problems using other strategies.

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Conceptual understanding comes first!

How can we help student refocus on understanding versus just an answer?

Too often when we pose a problem and students shout out an answer.  We need to ask ourselves do students understand the concept or are they obtaining the correct answer by fitting the symbols and numbers into a structure they know?

In this example, the anchor task was to subtract 34 from 87.  The teacher wanted to screen the children first wondering, Do students know what it means to subtract one number from another?  To find out more the teacher posted the following problem, removing the numbers.

Do students have the conceptual understanding or just fit the numbers into a given structure?

Students were asked to set up the expression that could represent the situation.  The student A on the far right was the only student in the class that seemed to understand. When asked to explain his thinking, many observing teachers felt he understood the concept and that he gave us a platform to generate a discussion.

Do students understand the part-whole relationship here?

Following this analysis, the numbers were inserted into the problem.  Subtract 34 from 87.  It was interesting to see student A’s work.  Much to our surprise, Student A who seemed to understand the concept had a hard time transferring that knowledge to another situation.  Notice his equation is not correct but he gets the final answer.

Can student A  transfer knowledge from one setting to the next? Look and listen to help guide students to conceptual understanding.  Looking at answers does not tell us the whole story.

Less is more.  Spend more time on conceptual understanding and listening and watching students versus solving more problems.  The answer does not help assess student reasoning or how we can extend or guide the learning process.

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Is it possible?

Is it possible?

Participants were asked at the 2017 Fall Mathodology Institute if it was possible to use the digits 0-6 only once to make a true statement?

Is it possible?  Participants worked and worked and did not find a way to solve the problem with the given conditions.  The teacher allowed the task to move on without closure for a purpose.  When students work to become confident problem solvers we want them stating, “this is not possible, I have exhausted every situation.” Listen to their reasoning, and look for a systematic way to prove it is not possible. All too often we focus on finding the solution, and we can deepen the process and allow for practice when we alter the task.

Try giving a task where it is not possible and see how your students handle it.  Follow-up by asking, “if it is not possible, can we change one of the symbols to make it a true statement?”

When we do not provide immediate closure, we allow students to continue to explore.  Many participants emailed after the institute because they would not quit until they figured it out.  Below are a few of the pictures they sent.

Great perseverance by participants who refused to give up?

This is what we want from students…next question for Shelly…can I change any symbol to make it a true statement?  If so is there only one way?

 

Ok…..I’ve worked literally for hours and I’ve come to the conclusion that this problem is NOT possible. If the lesson was to teach us to let kids struggle so they work harder like a ???? I get it. I’ve done at least 100 fraction problems over the weekend. If you would’ve given us the answer I would’ve never thought about this problem again……but you’ve let us struggle and now it’s just painful. Please tell me it’s not possible ???? my sanity is at stake.
-Shelley

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Rounding Using the Number Line

Use of number line to show rounding.  In each case what place is the student rounding to?  How do you know?

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Powers of Ten

Powers of Ten

My students are really struggling with multiplying and dividing with powers of 10 (especially division).
Do you guys have any suggestions for reinforcement activities/anchor tasks?

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Groundworks are great problems for Anchor Task-Factors

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Anchor Task-Factors

Do you have any ideas for anchor tasks for 4th grade multiple and factor lessons?!

Check out the attached pdf and games on the website.  -Sarah

Factors-Anchor Tasks

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Do you agree with my thinking?

When asked to solve a fraction divided by a whole number, the student gave context

(a story), a picture and the solution.  Do you agree with the answer?

If not what does the student need to work on?

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