Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Ambiguous Case Day 1 of 2 - Section 1: Bell Work


Many students struggle with contextual problems.  I feel that the issue is that students struggle with the way the problems are worded. Math problems have a structure that is different than reading in other content areas.  If a student is frustrated with the structure of the problem he/she will use repeated reasoning and see how the model is the same as the non-contextual problems.

Many books do not have the students draw the diagram. By giving the students the diagram the problem solving skill of pulling out and analyzing the text is lost. The students do not read the problem when the diagram is given.  They will assume what is required. Students need to make there own models for problems and persevere with reading and drawing the diagrams. This is the only way the students will become proficient with contextual problems. 

To help my students develop problem solving strategies I will type out the word problems from the textbook and omit the diagrams. This makes the students draw the diagrams on their own. I also tell students to determine what is difficult in word problems. If the issue is drawing a diagram and setting up the problem, I tell students to do this part of the problems in class or at tutoring. Do what you know how to do at home.

  Contextual Problems
  Grappling with Complexity: Contextual Problems
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Ambiguous Case Day 1 of 2

Unit 6: Solving Problems Involving Triangles
Lesson 4 of 13

Objective: SWBAT will solve the ambiguous case for oblique triangles.

Big Idea: After analyzing the ambiguous case for oblique triangles students will determine the number of possible solutions and find solutions when possible.

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