RTI: Making Solving One Step Word Problems a Piece of Cake!

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SWBAT master multiplication word problems by learning to unpack them and create solutions.

Big Idea

Students learn to take apart a multiplication word problem involving one step, and use an area model or expanded model to solve so they may eventually master multiple step word problems.

Warm Up: Learnzillion Lesson

5 minutes

I have two students who are clueless on how to read through and sort out a multi-step word problem. I realized that they needed some RTI and one on one showing them how to pick apart the language. This Learnzillion lesson supports the idea of the equation and solution. After they watched the lesson on their iPad, they met with me to discuss it. We went through it together, picking apart each section and looking at the way she found the variable.

My questions to these two students were designed for them to take responsibility in their own learning. Both of them are very motivated to learn, which helps me develop questions that move them into critical thought right away.

Questioning for Critical Thought

10 minutes

RTI: Direct Instruction/ Questioning and Practice

I sat my two students on either side of me with my iPad. They had their math notebooks and pencils, ready to discuss. I asked them what they thought about the Learnzillion and if they thought it helped them. They both seemed to like it.  I brought up the Learnzillion lesson on my iPad for reference so they could look back at it if we needed to as we talked about their work.

I checked to see if they understood what a variable was first because I wanted to make sure that they weren't confused by letters being in an equation. They did!

I asked how did the instructor in the lesson use an equation to figure out her problem? We went back again and went through the lesson to see her develop the equation using the variable and then solving it. This seems to be the toughest concept for them. They just want to solve the problem! I want them to be aware of how equations are used to help us think through the solution.

I asked: How would you go about solving her egg problem? They both talked about using a KWS chart. They noticed that she did not use any chart to help her take apart the problem. ( KWS strategy is a chart that my students use to find : What do I KNOW?. What do they WANT to know? And then What is my Solution?) I told them that I developed that strategy because I could see that students needed guidance on how to sort out the words.

 I decided it was time to work a problem together. I recorded this problem for them on Educreations, explaining what I expected. We worked it out together side by side. They used rectangular method to solve their equation. I let them work and then reviewed their answers. They didn't know how to finish their equation properly using the variable. I need to back up farther and only expect the solution and the label. The KWS appears to be too much for them. Both struggle with language, so I know that maybe I need to adjust some word problems by setting up a partial KWS chart for them and them.



Transitioning them to Multi-Step

10 minutes

Continued Support: Before I gave them their practice work, I used a continuation of the Angela problem to show how to notice when there will be two steps in a word problem. I explained that today's practice had just one step problems, but I wanted them to see the difference. ( They had not mastered the two step practice work from the day before.) I told them that I really wanted them to feel confident in solving one step multiplication word problems before I got them to solve harder two step ones. This is an example of how I taught that lesson using Educreations. On my lesson for them, I used a T chart and hand wrote the word problems next to each other. We compared the two and sought out the differences. They were very quick at figuring it out, multiplying and adding. It produced smiles. I asked them if they thought they were ready to solve one step problems and then do two step problems later. They were happy with that!

I will transition them later with printed word problems that are extensions of today's lesson to get them to understand the two step problems.

Assignment: Multiplication Word Problems ( 1 Step)

10 minutes

I assigned this worksheet, Multiplication Word Problems, because I liked the way it is formatted. Each problem is straightforward, relevant to their reading levels and very easy to pull apart. I assigned them the sheet and then had them work on it over a period of two days. The first day the sheets were turned in with just the algorithms solved and no labels or equations with variables. I met with them again, one on one and we revisited the variables and how to find them. In the meantime, another review of word problems had been taught in class.

I reassigned the sheet and asked them to make the corrections.

Now I will try to transfer understanding of multi-step word problems in a similar fashion in our next RTI meeting. My plan is to rewrite the same problems but add another step and have them solve them the same way.