Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Observing Student Problem Solving
|Introduction | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Counters | Problem Reflection #1 | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Numbers and Cubes | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal|
This is the problem the teacher posed to the students:
As part of the problem-solving process, students need to decide what materials to use to help solve the problem, determine how to record their answer, and explain what they did to solve the problem.
Angela and Mariko have decided to use plastic-circle counters to help them solve the problem. Even though all the students have read the problem and talked about it in their own words, the two girls are having a difficult time getting started. The teacher begins by checking that they understand the problem:
Teacher: What do you know?
Teacher: Twenty-four what?
Teacher: What question are you trying to answer?
Teacher: That's right! What other vehicles have we seen in the parking lot?
Teacher: Yes, those are all vehicles! Now, what question are you trying to answer?
Teacher: I see you have some counters here. Why have you chosen to use the counters?
Teacher: So, what can you do with the counters to get started?
Teacher: Show me the wheels of some different vehicles using the counters.
Mariko: These are for a bus because a bus has six wheels:
Teacher: You got the idea! Keep working on the 24 wheels now, and I'll be back in a bit.
Mariko and Angela continue to work while the teacher moves on to another group. When the teacher returns, she sees the following:
Teacher: Tell me what you have here.
Teacher: I see 24 wheels. Now, what is the question we are trying to answer?
Teacher: Look at the board and look at the problem again.
Teacher: How can you show me a vehicle?
Angela moves some counters and draws the following:
Teacher: Explain what you did.
Teacher: Are there enough wheels to make another vehicle?
The girls move their counters and draw circles to make this arrangement:
Teacher: So, what do you have now?
Teacher: How do you know there are six cars?
Teacher: Write that down on your paper. Now, is there another answer to the question?
Teacher: Well, try it. See if you can find another answer.
The teacher moves on to another group while the girls rearrange the counters to find another answer:
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