Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's Your Math Problem!?! Book Study Chapter 4

I am linking up with
                                                     Jennifer Smith-Sloane from 4mulaFun
                                                     Meg Anderson  from Fourth Grade Studio
                                                    Jamie Riggs from MissMathDork
                                                    and Jennifer Findley from Teaching to Inspire 5th Grade

for this book study on What's Your Math Problem!?!

 If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Chapter 4 - Getting Organized Strategies

This chapter examines the following strategies that Gojak says "form the foundation for mathematical problem solving".

  • Look for a pattern
  • Create a table
  • Create and organized list
  • Guess and check
Look for a Pattern

Gojack states that "patterns are fundamental to mathematics".  All of our number systems, even our base ten system use patterns.  Although students begin working with patterns at very young ages (pre-school and kindergarten), Gojak suggests that students of all ages should have many opportunities to work with patterns, including extending and creating their own patterns.  The author asks, "How can you encourage students to look for patterns in the work they do in mathematics?"  I wonder how I can implement this in class.

Create a Table
Students can organize the information in a problem by creating a table.  Once the information is in a table, it might be easier for the student to see any patterns or relationships that exist.  When I finished my Master's my thesis was on Proportional Reasoning and the use of ratio tables.  I found it quite powerful in organizing student's thinking. 

Create an Organized List
Making an organized list is a great way to solve combination problems.  It helps students to identify the work they have already done, and to see what additional work needs to be done.

Guess and Check
Gojak states that this strategy is often the least used because of the association teachers may have with students making wild guesses.  You know the type when you ask how many days are in a week and they guess 265,534.  She says that the key to this strategy is the checking - "Does my answer make sense?"

Which of these strategies have you used in your classroom? What successes have you had?

Teaching To Inspire in 5th Grade made these awesome strategy posters you can use in your class.

Create a Table strategy).


1 comment:

  1. All four of those are in our "strategy file" so my kiddos get pretty familiar with each. The guess and test ones seemed hardest this last year. A lot of my kiddos didn't have the stamina to keep trying or they weren't using their incorrect guesses to guide their next guess.

    Teach on a Limb


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