I wanted to take a quick second to share with you a little more about our math journals (thank you nap time). When I created my journal prompts, I tried to think of questions where there was no right or wrong answer or what they think I want them to write. I want to give my students an opportunity to share their thoughts without worrying about writing the correct answer. I think that frees them up to be a little more creative and honest in their responses. One prompt from earlier in the year was “Which Doesn’t Belong: Product, Multiply, Separate or Group?” My students had to circle which word didn’t belong with the other three words and explain why is was different and why the other words were the same. It was fun to see how different students chose different words, and how each student was able to support their thoughts.
I love that fact that I get a clear insight to my students’ thinking with these prompts. They allow us to have deeper classroom discussions, and I have the opportunity to see common misconceptions about different concepts and ideas.
I’ve been working extremely hard this year to clarify misconceptions on word problems. As you probably already know, we do tons of word problems in my classroom. Between my Weekly Word Problems, word problem task cards, and the word problems thrown into our math tasks, I feel very confident in my students’ ability to solve word problems. But, I’m afraid that they are relying too much on key words and not developing a deep enough understanding of WHY they should add, subtract, multiply, or divide. The problem is especially noticeable on multistep word problems. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, but I hadn’t found anything that really broke apart word problems in a way that students could understand which lead to the creation of my newest product for teaching types of story problems.
There are 19 posters for each type of word problem for addition & subtraction and multiplication & division.
There are 2 mini books where students can write their own word problems that reflect each style of word problem. One is for addition and subtraction and the other is for multiplication and division. I included both, because my students are ready for multiplication and division word problems when I begin this unit. I introduce those a little later in the year.
I wrote the problems so that there are two copies on one sheet of paper. You can just cut them in half, and save a little paper!
For practice solving and identifying types of word problems, I’ve created 22 addition and subtraction and 18 multiplication and division task cards, for a total of 40 task cards. There are two task cards for each type of story problem, so there is a wide variety of problems.