Instructional Openings

Know, Want to Know, Solve

KWS stands for what we Know, Want to know, and how might we Solve a word problem. The KWS Chart is a catalyst that gets my students to organize and analyze complex word problems. My students are more successful with word problems when they have a toolkit for simplifying the complex information often found within word problems. This tool is an essential scaffold for English Language Learners in my class. The strategy is also great to uncover with my students the fact that there are multiple ways of solving a problem, no matter how complex it may be, and often times there may be multiple routes to a solution.  

Strategy Resources (2)
Student Handout
 
 
I use the an on-screen timer to check in and keep students focused on keeping their reflections brief and to the point. Often times I also use sentence stems depending on the problem we are looking at.
 
Student Handout
 
 
I use the an on-screen timer to check in and keep students focused on keeping their reflections brief and to the point. Often times I also use sentence stems depending on the problem we are looking at.
Freddy Esparza
Aspire Titan Academy
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Third grade
Similar Strategies
Routines and Procedures
Computer Captains for Transitions

Computer Captains for Transitions is a routine I have developed that allows my students to take on an important peer leadership role that, at the same time, helps minimize the amount of time that my students spend in transition from working independently on a computer to joining their group on the rug for direct instruction or vice versa. Using the Computer Captains for Transitions strategy, which involves designated students alerting their peers to the timing of routinized whole-class transitions, allows my students to develop more ownership over their own learning and the culture of the class. Used in combination with timing transitions and re-doing unsuccessful transitions, this strategy has helped me re-capture critical learning time in my blended learning classroom. 

 
Assessment & Data
Multiple Sources of Data

Since we use a preselected curriculum for math, the majority of data is collected and analyzed using the highlighted resources. Being a blended learning school we know it's important to look at multiple sources of data and consider where our students are at at that time whether at the start, midpoint, or end of a unit. Using each assessment as a snapshot of where students are at in order to plan/prioritize for both online and offline instructional strategies/steps is my main focus. (See screencast for further information) 

 
Instructional Closings
Math Journal

The Math Journal startegy is a closing sequence I use as an ongoing informal assessment at least twice a week. I typically collect at least five journals and respond back to students by writing positive praise and/or a question to have them answer about their answer. I will also conduct a quick visual check by walking around at the conclusion of a math journal session and place a sticker, grade, or smiley face on each student's journal. The Math Journal is a very open constructive tool students can use to develop their mathematical writing prowess and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. 

 
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