What is the hardest thing about problem solving? What gives us the most trouble? What helps us improve and get stronger?
One of the awesome things about problem solving is that with more practice, just like basketball or riding a bike, you can get better. I like to say that "perfect practice makes perfect" because when I strive to do my best at all times, it helps me to be better at what I’m working on (MP1).
I have a lot of word problems here that may seem easy to some of you, and hard to others. But practice helps us improve! You’re each going to get 10 minutes at each table with different problems, and your goal is to work as hard as you can to solve every problem at the table. It will give us great practice to become quicker, more confident and better at each problem we face.
When you get to your table, you may take out your math journal and get all ready to go. I’m going to set the timer and when I say go, you may begin. Remember, you are going to try to challenge yourself to finish as many problems as you can. We are working towards our own personal best, not competing with anyone around us.
Some students will be using pencil and paper and for my small group I will be using white boards. Some students get very overwhelmed by a page full of problems, which is why I cut them up into individual questions. Students can choose 1, solve, and move on. For my small group it was important for me to focus on reinforcing ways to solve for these students, and not necessarily how many they could solve.
Wow, incredible work today! I can’t believe how many problems you were all able to solve. Count up your total for today and record it on the bottom of your journal page. Tomorrow, when we go for round 2 you’ll see if you can best your personal best from today.
Students will also write a reflection about how they felt about their work today. They can write a sentence to explain or simple draw a smiley face about how they felt. It's important for me students to recognize that their effort determines their feelings of success, and if they felt they did their best, that it was is important for me here.