Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Problem SolvingSession 03 Overviewtab atab btab cTab dtab eReference
Part D

Applying Problem Solving
  Introduction | Sharing Cookies | Problem Reflection | Classroom Practice | Problem Solving in Action | Classroom Checklist | Your Journal


Reflect on each of the following questions about problem solving, and select "Show Answer" to reveal our responses.

Question: What previous knowledge do students need to bring to this task?

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Our Answer:
Students can clarify many of their previously held ideas through this lesson, as well as learn new ideas. Students need to know about equal amounts, or "fair shares," as well as how to numerically represent fractions.

Question: What might be the difference between a problem like 12 divided by 8, where they may only encounter the fraction 1/2, and having them solve a problem like 8 divided by 5, where the answer involves a fraction that's a bit more complex?

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Our Answer:
Since children have much more day-to-day experience with halves, they may not have an opportunity to think about the more specific concepts of fractions when only halves are encountered. With the more challenging problem of sharing eight things among five children, the issue of how to make and name equal parts will come up.

Question: How did the level of difficulty of the problem in the video affect different students' work with the problem?

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Our Answer:
Some students mentally solved the problem even before the cookie circles were cut out. Others were faced with a dilemma that led them to think about using halves and then to check and see whether equal amounts were given to each child. It gave all the students a sense of confidence for working with similar problems in the future.

Question: How might it be easier to use a rectangle to represent one unit and then to make equal fractional parts, rather than using a circle?

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Our Answer:
Circles are often difficult for children to subdivide into equal parts, other than halves or quarters. Rectangular papers can easily be folded to make three equal parts, or folded or marked to show two, four, or eight equal parts. These marks can then be connected to the marks on a ruler. Making other amounts, such as five or 10 parts, can be done by thinking of halves and fourths and realizing that tenths must be slightly smaller than eighths.

Next  Use the Classroom Checklist

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