Make Meaning of Problems
Checklist: Students use checklists to plan for the task and to understand task priorities and expectations.
Checklist: Students use checklists to plan for the task and to understand task priorities and expectations.

B.U.I.L.D. Problem Solving Strategy

Andrea uses B.U.I.L.D. as a strategy to support students to text mark word problems. Andrea's students box any directions, underline the question, identify important numbers, locate an operation clue, and double underline units. This strategy supports students to slow down and consider what is happening in the problem prior to solving it.

About This Strategy
prep time:
Short
Grade Level: Sixth grade
Teaching Challenge: Make Meaning of Problems
Andrea Palmer
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Somerville, MA
Strategy Implementation Questions
Questions to think about when implementing the strategy
  • What types of problems could students use B.U.I.L.D. with?
  • How could you modify this strategy for your students? Could you change or add anything to help B.U.I.L.D. apply to the majority of problems your students will face?
  • What could be challenging about this strategy, and how could you address any challenges in advance?
Lesson Notes

Often, I create do nows that have problems that connect to the task that students will be working on that day. Today students will have to decide which operation is needed to solve word problems. I am using “BUILD” as a system for students to text mark word problems. I have found that these steps help students to slow down and take in what is happening in a problem. I want students to use this time to read over BUILD and think about how it compares to text marking strategies they have used before.

About This Strategy
prep time:
Short
Grade Level: Sixth grade
Teaching Challenge: Make Meaning of Problems
Andrea Palmer
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Somerville, MA
Artifacts
Instructional Resource
Lesson File:2.8 Do Now.docx
This document contains the directions for the B.U.I.L.D. problem solving strategy. This strategy can support students to reflect on the problems and make meaning of them.
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Act It Out to Make Meaning

Joyce reads a subtraction word problem to the class and her students (disguised with animal masks) act out the problem. The class then discusses the problem, its meaning, and how to solve it. Joyce continues this routine until all students have had a chance to act out a problem.

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