Sunday, September 2, 2012

Common Core Math: Word Problems

One of the biggest areas that we are working on this year as we implement Common Core in Math this year are word problems.
Here is the standard:

1.OA.1. Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

Not only are the students required to solve the problem correctly, but also they have to explain how thay came to that answer. In first grade, we accomplish that in a couple of ways.  First, we do several different kinds of word problems every week.  We do a journal 2-3 times per week and a daily word problem together in our math meeting.  Second, we always draw the answer to our problems and have kids explain what they did.  Doing this really gives us a good indication of whether or not the kids understand the process we are teaching.
The other part of this is that there are not a lot of great word problems that require higher understanding available.  There are a lot of "I had 3 apples and my friend gave me 1 more.  How many do I have now?" types of problems, but very few other kinds.  So, time to step it up a bit!  The unknowns in all positions are hard to find, but so neccessary.  It takes a lot of modeling, but it is so much fun when you start to see the little lightbulbs go off! 
Here is an example of an unknown in the first position:
My first grade son and I worked on this, it is the blessing and curse of having a creative child...  He wanted to draw and name every bat he drew!   This is the process we used to complete this problem. 

1. We read the problem together.   We discussed what the problem was asking for, I asked directed questions about how many were there in all,  how many do we know are there, etc... 

2. We came up with a plan of how to solve.  He suggested drawing the 15 flying over the house, so that is what he did.  (fast forward 15 minutes!...  I would encourage my students to draw something simple if we were doing this in a group)

3.  He decided to circle the ones that joined the group.  So he circled 8 bats. 

4. We talked about how many were not circled.  He chose to write the number by each one as he counted it. 

5. He wrote the number sentence and then told me the story(with prompting, he is as new to this as students at school.) There were 7 bats flying over the haunted house.  8 more came.  Now there are  15 bats. 

Poor teacher's kid, he will do a lot more of these!  :) 

I have made several packs to practice for purchase in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store!


and for second grade money....

You can click on any of the pictures to take you to my store.
Hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend! 
I am doing a ton of cleaning and playing with the kids!

Julie Gesin

1 comment:

  1. Math word problems are the best application of the mathematical if we learn quadratic equations and we practice some word problems of it then it can make us perfect in maths.