Rationale: This lesson is the culminating part of "Understanding Our Strategies for Solving Multi-Step Word Problems" In that lesson, the Contractor group was assigned a task of creating a word problem game from the set of word problem resources below. They spent another class period sorting, planning and publishing the game on the ap Teach by Knowmania. They chose this over Educreations because it works more like Power Point or a Google Doc Presentation. They told me that they could screenshot it and send me the documents. From this application, I can assess how well they made their choices, so it serves as a culminating activity for the rest of the class, and a leadership opportunity as well as an assessment of how well they could use their classification skills and strategies. Math Practice Standard 1,2, & 3 are practiced by the students in this activity as well as a more in depth practice of word problem standards. It is an excellent high quality task for high level students.
I started to get students organized when one of the Contractors simply began the explanation of what was going on! This student taking control and explaining rules of the game with precision and confidence made me think about how student driven my classroom was becoming through CCSS designed differentiated lessons! I had met with them earlier, because they had worked together all week on their project, and set forth the expectations of behavior, quality of the document, and answered any questions. I previewed their plans. (More Rules shows us the point values.) T
As soon as the rules were spelled out by one Contractor, another started counting off people by twos. I let them take control! They had thought of everything. They had even thought of raising their hand and saying "Five" to get everyone to be quiet.
I gave students control over this project, but I wanted to ensure learning for all and needed to tweek their rules a little bit once the first round began. I also gave them some suggestions about how points should be doled out, that they chose to reject, and I honored that. That way, they could see the teacher respect their decisions in this high quality task.With the amount of problems they sorted through, I was anxious to see which they had chosen to do with their classmates.
This is a photo of the Multi-step problem choices showing the way they put together the slides. I used this presentation/game as an assessment for these students because they have mastered word problem solving at higher levels. I wanted to assess if they could classify and think about them in a different context, and take on a leadership roll that hopefully will deepen their interest in problem solving and mathematics.
Rules of the Game As It Was Played
1. There were two teams in my class, but I think you could play this with teams of just 6 and be fine.
2.Dice are rolled to see who goes first.
3.The team who goes first chooses a category/operation and a point value based on the level of difficulty. i.e. Multiplication for 500 ( Challenging problem)
4. ( I changed these rules to fit high expectations) ALL students solve the chosen problem using strategies, pencil and paper and discussion as they solve as a team. Be sure to include all members of the team and don't exclude anyone.
5. When both teams announce they solved the problem, a Contractor checks their work, the team who chose the problem goes to the white board and presents the solution. If it is correct, the team who chose the problem wins. If it is incorrect, the other team presents and wins if accurate. This holds everyone accountable for team solving.
6. When done, the other team chooses the next problem and point values and another problem solving round begins. I referee for accuracy and collaboration.
A Peek in the Classroom: The first round began with one of the Contractor Coaches reading the word problem aloud that was chosen. Round One! The first team done was checked by one of Contractors. Then, the other team was checked by the other Contractors. As soon as the Contractors said they were correct, the team who chose the problem came to the board and solved the problem. Everyone was on task, talking about the problem. Before the problem could be presented, I needed to see the equations. Showing the equations
As the game continued, the next pick was an addition problem, or so they thought.Why doesn't that problem make sense? After we discussed it, looked at the wording and developed a math mountain, it was revealed to us that the problem was subtraction. So, we discovered a mistake. This was a really good experience because it proved that our strategies work!We discovered it was in the wrong category using strategies. In the next problem, students discovered that the label was not correct in the answer. It was great to hear them hash over whether that mattered.It's just the label, should that matter? The discussion ended correctly as I had hoped and they used their sense of accuracy to make the right decision on the matter.Yes the label matters. I insisted the next problem be a multi-step problem so that all types of word problems were used. Multi-step problem choices.
We wrapped up the game session with discussion about what we had learned through the experience. Comments about word problems finally being fun were made from a small group of students. Students who continued to struggle said that sometimes they felt that they couldn't keep up. I used this sharing time to think about things I would change, but closed the lesson with saying that we need continued practice. I encouraged them to use key words in their solving and that I hoped that they would use what they learned today and apply it to everyday math work and word problem solving.