"Let's talk and draw" is a mini-lesson I designed to engage my students to work on their listening skills and solve math at the same time. First grade students need to be able to solve multi-step word problems and join three addends together, but, at their age, they tend to struggle with inattention. A talk and draw activity keeps their hands busy and minds focused. Also it helps make the abstract concrete, which is developmentally important for first graders. Since today's goal is to have them work on word problems with three addends, our discussion will be related to this topic. The addends will be sums of less than or equal to 20 and by the end of the entire lesson we will have covered several mathematical representations for each problem. (1.OA.A.2). I will pass out blank white paper and begin with:
Students, I heard that Jacob had 3 baseball hats, 2 shirts, and 3 Pokemon cards on his bed at home. That seems like a lot of things and I bet we could draw them. Go ahead and draw what he had on his bed. (They begin to draw, but I continue to talk and give ideas for descriptions to help bring their drawings to life.) What color do you think his hats are? I bet he has a red, a blue and a brown because he has worn those to school. His favorite shirts that he has worn to school was his Captain America t-shirt with the shield on the front and his awesome brown shirt. I think everyone can design their own Pokemon cards. When you finish your drawing, put your hands on your head.
Now I will guide my students with a few questions;
How many hats did you draw? (3) Go ahead and circle them and write a 3 under them.
How many shirts did you draw? (2) Circle them and write a 2 under them.
How many cards did you draw? (3) Circle them and write a 4 under them.
What could we do to figure out how many things he had on his bed? (We could count them altogether.) Awesome, let's do that. What did he have in her bed? (8 things)
If this activity proved successful for your students to listen, draw, and answer the questions, then move on to the whole group interaction. If you feel that some students were lost and my benefit from more discussion, then create another verbal problem and walk them through it in the same manner.
Open the Whole Group Review Problem on your Smart Board
I will use the whole group review problem to review with my students how to solve a word problem with three addends. In this lesson I taught them we could use tally marks, draw a picture, and use symbols by writing an addition equation. Today, I will also discuss using objects and provide counters if necessary to solve their problems. Check out the picture of our class review. I want my students to know they can solve with objects, drawings, and using symbols to create equations. (1.OA.A.2). Not every strategy works for every student. That is why we teach so many different strategies. Also, one strategy may work better with one type of problem than another. This lesson is for additional practice and they previously learned they could use multiple strategies to solve a 3 addend word problem.
I want them to pick the strategy that works for them when they complete their independent practice, so I will review what we have used previously. The process of adding 3 numbers from a word problem will assist them in thinking abstractly and quantitatively. (MP2) Drawing pictures helps them begin to thinking abstractly and to think quantitatively by developing an addition equation to solve. When they are solving the addition equation, I encourage them to think about the fast facts we have practiced such as, facts that equal ten, doubles facts, zero the hero facts, and commutative property facts to add first. These strategies build addition fluency and give them a known starting point.
I will go here to print and copy a practice sheet for my students to solve word problems with 3 addends. I will encourage my students to use a strategy that they are comfortable with and understand. I will walk around and observe them work to check for any misunderstandings. Check out these great resources; successful pictures strategy pic, Working out his problems pic, and Solving word problems video.
There are two built in scaffolds into this lesson: encouraging the use of concrete strategies and presenting only addition problems. By supplying the concrete strategies all learners are being supported and the more advanced learners know they can take off from there. All of the students know they cannot go wrong because we are only focusing on addition, so the plus sign is the obvious choice and this builds confidence. Eventually word problems will become more complicated and mixed operations will be involved.
My students need additional practice adding three numbers together. I have taught them to pick 2 numbers, add them together, then add that answer to the third number. When they pick the first two numbers, I encourage them to think about the fast facts we have practiced such as, facts that equal ten, doubles facts, zero the hero facts, and commutative property facts to add first. This speeds their process of solving and builds in fluency and practice. I will go to the K-5 Math Resources site and print this three letter addends game. Directions are explained at this site. I will introduce the game to my whole class, laminate, and then place it in our math center for practice during free time. Watch this video of one student playing the game.