Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Math Problem Solving with the Whole School

Students in a core RTI group, worked with partners to create multi-step, scaffolded math problems. Originally we were going to make movies of these problems, but slideshow presentations served our purpose better. The purpose was to share the problem with the whole school at assembly.

This week we tried that for the first time. Almost all students brought paper, pencils, clipboards, and/or whiteboards to our weekly school assembly. Two students presented their tiered problem and asked students to solve each level. Younger students solved the first problem. Second and third graders solved part two, and fourth and fifth graders solved the third problem. Of course, everyone was also invited to solve all the problems if they liked too.

The students were proud to present, and teachers reported that most students were engaged in the endeavor. The problem type is modeled after the tiered problems students will have to solve on the PARCC test.

Next week two more students will present a problem. This time we'll give students a small guide to use as they solve the problem. Students also added a short introduction. An example of the problem is included blow. I'm sure we'll develop this technique in the weeks to come so stay tuned for updates. I must say I'm proud of students' investment, creativity, and mathematical thinking with regard to this activity.