After taking a pre-test we brainstormed different words that are keywords for math operations. For example, when ever we see the word per we know to divide. We also took a look at a problem solving video at Studyjams. I love, love, LOVE this website for videos geared towards math and science. The characters appeal to upper elementary so well. They have a great list of operation keywords!
The following day we talked about different ways to solve math problems. We looked at numerous word problems that had us draw pictures, find patterns, make lists, make charts, write an equation, and think logically. We talked about what style works best for them and how they learn.
Then came the step-by-step strategy to help students work through a word problem. I got the idea from Oh Boy 4th Grade Blog. This amazingly, creative teacher has created a pencil strategy using colors of the rainbow. For each color students have a different task. Students now have colored pencils in their math boxes. With red they underline the question, orange-box keywords, yellow-circle numbers, green-solve, blue-show all work, and purple-check answers. I made an anchor chart to remind students the steps and they recorded it in their math journal. The teacher at Oh Boy 4th Grade has laminated cards for all her students for sell, and I hope to purchase them when I have a class of my own.
|Colored Pencils in Action!|