Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tricky Math

From what I gather from the blogging world, everyone is engrossed in the lovely world of fractions. I'm so over that F-word I could scream. It's such a BIG concept that our kiddos must have this conceptual understanding of to be successful in anything we do with fractions. Then you put fractions in a word problem and sweet Jesus, it gets REAL!

I'm linking up with Jivey for Workshop Wednesday: Tricky Math. (Yes, it's Thursday. My life has been slightly consumed with, well, things of life.Forgive me.) We, too, have been knee deep in all things fractions, mainly using fractions to solve word problems.

For any word problems, my students use the stop sign strategy. It isn't something I created, but something I picked up somewhere along my teaching journey. It makes sense, though! It's basically a way to teach students to break long, confusing word problems apart into more manageable sections. They read the problem, then the next read, stop at various points and take notes. Then they use notes to tackle the question. 

When I first introduce this strategy at the beginning of the year, I do so in small group. This way I can make sure the kids understand the point of it and how to use it correctly. It doesn't do them any good if they simply write the entire question over again, rather than taking notes. Taking notes seems to take a bit of work to get out of them, but they're golden once they've got it. The kids like when I read the problem and they get to yell "STOP!" at me whenever they see a period, comma, or any of our other stopping points. 

This is just one small way we tackle tricky math in our class. If you'd like a copy of the stop sign strategy, click on the picture and grab it. Enjoy!

...and relax, teacher friends. It's almost Friday. Praise the Lord!

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