Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Story Problems: Putting Concepts Into Action - Section 3: Story Problems


While I was working with one of the students in the small intervention group, I noticed that the student was counting down on the number line to solve subtraction problems.  However, when he was representing his strategy, he was starting at the right side and drawing the numbers right to left.  I wanted to get him to think about starting at the right side and counting down toward the left instead.  At first he wasn't getting it.  Finally he said, "Oh, it is just like using the number line."  I told him he was correct and pointed out that he was actually drawing a section of the number line on his paper to represent his strategy.

I decided to share this with the class and wanted to make sure that I addressed any confusion with this (that others might have).  If you watch the video in the resource section, you will see the conversation that we had, and you will also hear another student's rationale of why we must go right to left when counting down.

On another note, I feel the number line is an important and versatile tool that can't be overused in a 1st grade classroom.  Using the number line allows students to create a visual of who they are moving and the magnitude of the number.  It also allows student sot develop number sequence and a better understanding of why numbers are getting "bigger" or "smaller."

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: An "Ah Ha" Moment
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Story Problems: Putting Concepts Into Action

Unit 10: Working with Numbers, Operations, and Story Problems
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT identify and use a strategy for solving addition and subtraction problems. SWBAT record their thinking and solution.

Big Idea: TEAMWORK and COLLABORATION! This lesson will serve as the foundation for the next few lessons. Students will be encouraged to work collaboratively as they tackle a variety of story problems.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, Operations , addition, subtraction, 1st Grade, story problems
  75 minutes
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