Problem Solving with Rational Numbers

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Students will be able to solve real world problems involving rational numbers.

Big Idea

Fractions can be your friend! Problem solve with ease in this lesson!


5 minutes

Opener:  As students enter the room, they will immediately pick up and begin working on the opener.  Please see my instructional strategy clip for how openers work in my classroom (Instructional Strategy - Process for openers).  This method of working and going over the opener lends itself to allow students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, which is mathematical practice 3.  

Learning Target:  After completion of the opener, I will address the day’s learning targets to the students.  In today’s lesson, the intended target is, “I can solve real world problems containing rational numbers.” Students will jot the learning target down in their agendas (our version of a student planner, there is a place to write the learning target for every day). 


40 minutes

Problem Solving with Fractions Notes: For whatever reason when students see word problems they freak out - and when they see them with fractions the freak out session gains intensity.  SO, I have taken problems that are commonly hard for students and rewritten them using only whole numbers.  I am going to have the students work out the whole number version of the problem, and then give them the fraction version so that they can see that fractions are not so bad.  I do not like to give students key words, I really like them to explain a problem in their own words - usually that is enough to determine what operation to use, without a list of key terms, as key terms are not always black and white.  This method of solving problems is a good use of mathematical practice 7 - as students are using what they already know to solve new problems.

Table Problems

Summarize + Homework

10 minutes

Breaking Down ProblemsFor the last 10 minutes of class, students will work on breaking down a word problem.  For this activity, there are four different word problems that students may be assigned.  Students are to read the problem, choose an operation - and then explain in complete sentences why they chose that operation.  After choosing an operation, they are to draw a picture that would supplement their explanation on why they chose that particular operation.  Finally, they are to solve the problem.  Since there are a variety of problems to choose from, students will be encouraged to find another student in the room that has the same problem and talk it out with that student.

Tic-Tac-Toe AssignmentStudents will complete a tic-tac-toe homework assignment.  The assignment contains a grid of 9 problems, students need to choose and complete 3 problems that would create a tic tac toe. Philosophy on Homework