See my Do Now in my Strategy folder that explains my beginning of class routines.
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.
I do not teach students to rely on key words to identify the operation that is needed to solve a problem. I have found that when I do this, students rely too heavily on the key words and don’t pay attention to the context of the problem. Many keywords can be used across the operations, leading to student confusion.
Instead, I focus on situations. I want students to be familiar with different situations that would call for a particular operation. Finding a total of different objects or combining objects would signal addition. Comparing objects, or finding the difference between objects would signal subtraction. Repeated addition signals multiplication. Splitting objects up equally signals division.
I have found that using bar models is an easy and helpful way to model math problems. Students will use these bar models throughout this lesson and the year.
I ask students to share out their ideas. I am careful to address keywords students may offer. I explain that we can’t always rely on keywords to determine which operation we should use.
I Create Homogeneous Groups. Students work in partners on the 4 problems. First they build the problem independently and pick which model they believe represents the problem. They are engaging in MP4: Model with mathematics. Then, they share their ideas with their partner. Once they both agree, they write an explanation before moving on to the next problem.
I walk around and monitor student progress. If students are struggling, I ask them to describe what is going on in the problem. I have him/her return to the Operation Situations page and identify which situation matches what is going on in the problem.
After most partner pairs have gone through all four problems, we come together as a class. I ask one student to explain his/her thinking for each problem. For problem 2, I declare that I think it is multiplication and that model A matches the problem. I want students to be able to explain that it is multiplication, but that model A shows 20 divided by 5, not 20 x 5. If there is another common mistake I see, we address it as a class.
Each student gets a packet with the Practice Problems. I have a volunteer read through the directions. Students work independently on the task.
As students are working, walk around and monitor student progress.
If students are struggling with the task, ask them to describe what is going on in the problem. What operation do you need to use to solve the problem? If they are struggling to draw the bar model, I have them return to the examples in “Which model fits the problem?”. I may offer a multiplication chart if needed.
If students successfully complete one problem (BUILD, draw model, solve, and explain) I have them pair up with another student who is finished. They take turns using the rubric to give the other student feedback. Once they are finished, they can choose another problem to work on, or they can create their own.
This part of the lesson does not deal directly with math skills, but I feel that it is an important topic for my students to learn about. When my students start learning about college one of the most common concerns is paying for college. With the cost of college continuing to rise, it is important that students learn about scholarship opportunities. I also make the connection between habits and accomplishments that students make now (in middle school) and how that is setting them up for success in high school.
Together we go over the vocabulary words. I have a volunteer read the directions. Students work on the task independently. With a few minutes left, we come back together as class to share answers, observations, and questions. Students are usually excited to share of a scholarship that they want to apply for. I remind them that these are all scholarships that they can start to apply for now. I ask students to think about what skills they can continue to work on that will help them reach accomplishments that will help them get scholarships. I call on students to share their ideas and goals.
I begin the Closure by asking students how can they determine which operation is needed to solve a problem? I call on a few students to share their ideas. Then I ask for students to explain what scholarships are and why they need to know about them.
Instead of a ticket to go, I collect the students Practice Problems packets to analyze their work. Then I pass out the HW Mixed Operation Practice.