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50 problem-solving lessons: The best from 10 years of math by Marilyn Burns

By Marilyn Burns

For a few years, Marilyn Burns has produced a e-newsletter for lecturers. each one e-newsletter comprises classroom-tested actions from academics around the nation. This compilation provides the newsletters' most sensible problem-solving classes for grades 1-6. the teachings span the strands of the maths curriculum and are illustrated with kid's paintings.

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You’ll work in pairs,” David said. “Find different ways to divide each square in half, and then shade half of each square. ” After about 15 minutes, David called the class to attention. “Each pair will show the class 53 50 PROBLEM-SOLVING LESSONS David followed this lesson with an exploration of the ways to divide rectangles into 2 through 10 equal shares. ) one square that you divided,” he said. ” As each pair came to the front of the room, David drew a square on the board on which the two students showed their method.

Sharon asked the students how this could happen, and they came up with a list of possible reasons: Sharon modeled this procedure for the class and then continued with the directions. “Then take a handful of beans and count,” she said. “Work with a partner and check each other’s answer. ” Again, Sharon modeled for the children what they were to do. 1. Some students could have miscounted. 2. Partners didn’t count because they were in a hurry. 3. The handful was taken with the palm turned down in the bag.

Each person gets _____. Then she gave each group of three students an apple and a sheet of paper. Several first graders found it easier to start by cutting the apple into fourths. The Lesson with Second and Third Graders When Cheryl Rectanus’s second and third graders worked on the problem, their solutions were more sophisticated. They divided the apples more precisely than the first graders had. Some students considered how to deal with the core of the apple when making equal pieces. Some included thirds or quarters in their solutions.

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