Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's Your Math Problem!?! Book Study Chapter 6

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
Chapter 5

Chapter 6 - Advanced Thinking Strategies

This chapter focuses on four new thinking strategies:

Solve a Simpler Problem - This is one of my favorite strategies that I have used in my classroom for years.  I tell my students to plug in smaller numbers to see if they can figure out how to solve a problem.  The author also addresses a second form of this strategy by beginning with a simpler case of the problem.  The example they give is:

Find the sum of the first 50 odd numbers.

The author suggests first finding the sum of the first 2 odd numbers, and then moving on to the sum of the first 3 odd numbers and so on.  You would keep track and see if a pattern appears.

Account for All Possibilities- In real world situations and problems, we often find that there may be more than one possible solution.  The key part of this strategy is systematically accounting for all possibilities. 

Work Backwards -In this type of a strategy, the student starts with the answer and works their way backwards.  This might be a strategy to teach using multiple choice questions.  If you worked backwards, would that particular answer work?

Change Your Point of View- This is one of the more complicated strategies to use, because it involves stepping away from the problem and trying to solve it a different way.  I think in the classroom it might be helpful to teach students how to use this strategy by seeing examples of how other students solved a problem differently.  You could ask, could anyone else use so and so's strategy in another way?

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