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* *Reflection:
Multi-Step Word Problem in the Real World - Section 3: Concept development

"That was easy,... I mean fun!" is my favorite quote of the day. I like it for several reasons. First, I really like WHO this remark came from. A boy, who typically spends large amounts of time trying to derail a lesson and tends to give an attitude of dismissal to academics is WHO said that! This is also a favorite quote from the day because it really embodies the attitude I want my students to have about math. I want them to see problems something to persevere through and yes, fun. The feeling in the room when students solved the problem literally gave me goosebumps. The pride and ownership my students took in their own learning was incredible. It's days like these a teacher wishes for every day.

As you can see from my video reflection, this was a fun and fabulous lesson for me and for my students. The students did a wonderful job working together and persevering in this task. As you can see from this student's paper, this was a challenging task that provided productive struggle for many fourth graders. Some teachers might wonder how much information a teacher can gain about students based on one problem, and I would argue that I gain far more knowledge about my students abilities when they have opportunities to explain their thinking in a rich problem solving situation.

For example, I learned that some students are still struggling with reading and writing large numbers. I also learned that some students are getting very confident with the phrase that pays, or math talk, while others have trouble coming up with math words like addend, subtraction, and difference. I learned very quickly which students still need more support with regrouping and subtraction as well as which students tend to me conscientious and checked their subtraction with addition. While a page of subtraction problems could give me information about regrouping abilities, it doesn't give me insight into how to help me students. When students solve and talk about their thinking in a rich task, it opens doors, sometimes just little bity cracks, for me as their facilitator to make instructional decisions based on what I observe. As I watch and listen to students, I carry a clipboard and pencil in hand. I am constantly jotting down notes about student misconceptions I can then address in the pull out instructional group time or tutor time.

# Multi-Step Word Problem in the Real World

Lesson 4 of 5

## Objective: Students will be able to solve multi-step word problems and practice using math practice standard 3.

*60 minutes*

#### Warm Up

*7 min*

Students have math journal prompt as a warm up today. I chose an open ended rounding prompt for several reasons. First, since our assessment is tomorrow, I wanted to do a quick short review for students. Second, I wanted to students to have an opportunity to show with words and a model how to round. When I corrected the last three journal prompts, many students are forgetting to include a model. For this journal prompt they could choose two numbers to model.

Journal Prompt:

Think of two numbers that when rounded to the nearest hundred, their sum is 500. Write five different pairs of numbers.

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#### Concept development

*50 min*

Today's lesson incorporates a video of my school secretary. Through video she tells this story;

*Hello fourth graders! I need your help. I am creating a projected budget for next school year for Mrs. Thompson. I know that last year, in one school year, Four Georgians teachers used 568,634 pieces of paper, 441,897 fewer envelopes than pieces of paper, and 98,639 fewer markers than envelopes. How many total supply items did the Four Georgians teachers use? Remember to use words, pictures, and numbers to help solve this problem! *

I video-ed her reading and acting out this problem after I scripted a problem that I thought would be realistic and accomplish the goal of solving multi-step word problems. While the numbers in this word problem are a bit higher than the actual amounts, they are not unrealistic. My secretary does say "five hundred sixty eight six hundred thirty four (568,634) instead of five hundred sixty-eight THOUSAND, six hundred thirty four, but I didn't mind a bit. I told my students to also watch for a number error as she reads the numbers in the video. My students did catch the error right away and assumed she did it on purpose to help them learn.

The student assignment was to solve the problem and then create a poster, 8 x 10 size, for the secretary showing their answer and how they reached this answer. The posters could be colorful and creative and I provided crayons for them.

*Before students started the poster and calculations, we discussed what kinds of pictures or models they could draw. Students listed vertical number lines and rounding to check their work (made my heart happy) and tape diagrams. (again, heart was happily beating that they connected the tape diagram and the rounding as tools they could use for this problem)*

After watching the video three times, students got right to work with their learning partner. They needed to watch it three times in order to copy down the numbers and check to make sure they got the numbers correct. When they are satisfied they have answered it for the secretary, they create their poster showing the answer and **how **they solved this problem using **words**, **numbers**, and **pictures**.

Standard 4.OA.A3 is addressed in this lesson as students use subtraction and addition to solve the multi-step problem. As you can see in this video, students were busy and on task. They loved this problem! I personalize word problems by using their names and people they know. I do this because personalizing the text of word problems is an effective way to tap into students’ background knowledge. By including people known to students and using a context for the story that involves the students’ background experience, I can help bridge the gap between existing and new knowledge. Personalizing word problems helps motivate students to choose the correct mathematical process needed to solve a problem, even when they may not have the ability to apply the process correctly. Just as I personalize for text problems, I created this personal video problem for the same reasons.

Engagement was definitely abundant in the classroom today. Students exhibited MP.1 with gusto as they erased, worked, checked their work, erased, and didn't give up! This lesson allowed me to feel like a facilitator of learning. Students were in charge of their learning and I was there to guide them through the process. The level of engagement was high and their drive to persevere was high. Some partners ran out of time for their posters and they were extremely disappointed. I have built in time tomorrow, after our unit test, for students to complete their posters.

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Students worked mostly to the end of class. After all supplies were put away, I asked them two questions:

What math practice did you use today?

Are you excited to tell Mrs. Sandvig (our secretary) your findings?

Students overwhelmingly responded that they used perseverance. It made me realize I am using the word a lot and that students are connecting with it and realizing when they show it. Students cheered and clapped when I asked them if they were excited to talk to the secretary.

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##### Similar Lessons

Environment: Urban

Environment: Urban

###### Real World Word Problems with Multiplication and Division (Day 2)

*Favorites(7)*

*Resources(18)*

Environment: Urban

- UNIT 1: Getting to Know You- First Days of School
- UNIT 2: Multiplication with Whole Numbers
- UNIT 3: Place Value
- UNIT 4: Understanding Division and Remainders
- UNIT 5: Operations with Fractions
- UNIT 6: Fraction Equivalents and Ordering Fractions
- UNIT 7: Division with Whole Numbers
- UNIT 8: Place value
- UNIT 9: Geometry
- UNIT 10: Measurment
- UNIT 11: Fractions and Decimals