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Target the Question! Daily Math Problem Solving (Smartboard)


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Keywords: Math Problem Solving, Smartboard Software, Lonestar Learning, Target the Question
Subject(s): Information Skills, Social Skills, Technology, Speech and Language, Reading, Math
Grades 1 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: McClure Elementary, McKinney, TX
Planned By: Margaret Shelton
Original Author: Margaret Shelton, McKinney
*TEKS Goals and Objectives: Students will apply mathematics to problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. Students will use a problem-solving model that incorporates analyzing given information, formulating a plan or strategy, determining a solution, justifying the solution, and evaluating the problem-solving process and the reasonableness of the solution.

*Materials Needed: Chart Paper, Math Manipulatives (counters, blank paper,number lines etc.), Smartboard, Lonestar Learning-Target the Question Math Software.

*Direct Instruction: In a whole group setting, ask students if they have ever had a math problem that was tricky to solve. Allow students to share ideas about how they felt or what they did to solve the problem. Explain to them that today you are going to share with them a plan that they can use every time they are solving a math problem. Demonstrate & guide students through this step-by-step process while solving a grade appropriate math problem. Students will learn and apply the following 4 step problem-solving plan.

"U.P.S check "
*UNDERSTAND the problem (what do you need to know?)
*PLAN (select a strategy to find the answer)
*SOLVE (use the plan and do the math)
*CHECK (did you answer the ? & does your answer make sense)
~Students understand that is the pattern or plan they can use when problem-solving.
This instruction will need to take place in several mini-lessons for the developmental needs of younger students.

Monday: Read the problem with the students, focus on UNDERSTAND the problem: discuss "what do you need to know? What is happening in the problem? What will the answer tell you?" Encourage students to jot down this information in a quick simple way.

Tuesday: Review the same problem, remind students what they already know. Now focus on the PLAN. Ask them "what can you do to find the answer? What thinking pattern or strategy could work? Can you write an equation?" Allow students time to communicate with each other and the group. Share ideas about the plan. Teacher can now give feedback on strategies suggested.

Wednesday: Review the same problem, including understanding & plan. Focus on SOLVE the problem. Choose a strategy suggested and work the problem together as a group. Ask students "Can we solve it using a different strategy?" Then, solve it a different way!

Thursday: Review the same problem, including "U.P.S." Focus on CHECK...did we answer the question that was asked? Does the answer make sense? Did we label our answer appropriately? Can we answer the problem in another way?

Friday: Review the 4 steps used this week to solve the math problem: Understand, Plan, Solve & Check= U.P.S. CHECK. Create a class poster that will remind them of these steps every time they solve a math problem.

Guided Practice: Students will apply & practice the 4 step plan daily at group time.
Calendar time, Morning Meeting or Community Circle integrate this daily component.
Focus students attention to Smartboard "Lonestar Learning-Target the Question Math." (Students can host this user friendly software themselves as they become more familiar with it's components).
Read the question of the week. Click on the appropriate day of the week tab to focus on daily learning/strategy. Allow time for students to analyze information, collaborate ideas, communicate thinking & teacher feedback.
*Teacher Note: Reassure students that it is O.K. if the problems feel "hard. We want them to be "too hard." This is what will demand students to have to expand & develop their thinking. They will apply strategies they already know & make connections to real world experiences. Let them know it's OK that it feels too hard-that is why we have the U.P.S. CHECK plan!

Independent Practice: Weekly or bi-weekly as appropriate, provide students with a targeted problem solver on paper. Allow them independent time & materials needed to apply the 4-step plan. Challenge: Provide basic guidelines of a story problem & allow students to create their own actions within the story.

Follow-Up: Evaluate student work. Provide feedback through positive notes, written examples or conferencing. Allow observations from student's independent practice to target objectives in the following weeks lesson. As a campus, use quarterly math vertical meetings to discuss problem solving success and growth; as well as targeted needs. Evaluate & compare campus testing scores from 2012 to 2013 for targeted goal setting & instructional needs.

Comments
This software supports application of math problem solving. As a campus, we have evaluated our student test scores and are targeting this area to build & enrich student academic growth. This type of flexible & applied thinking is what enables students to apply basic math skills at a higher cognitive level. The Lonestar Learning-Target the Question, integrated math software, allows for efficient & cooperative experiences for our students.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The problem solving materials are presented through written text scenarios. Students must first apply reading & comprehension strategies to understand the problem. The content of the problem solving text can also be related as students make self to text connections-relating problems to everyday life experiences. This text component even allows teachers & students to connect to areas of science & social studies, as well. In addition, the Smartboard environment initiates communication among students as they discuss strategies & explain their thinking to one another. The software promotes a teamwork technique that encourages students to think in flexible ways and justify reasoning while understanding that multiple strategies can lead to success.
Follow-Up
Following the "Target the Question"experiences as a whole group; success will be measured for our students as they apply problem solving at an individual level. Our expectation is that students will demonstrate appropriate problem solving strategies, justify correct answers & explain their thinking. The more experiences our students gain, the more strategies they possess, which enables them to apply math at a higher level of success.
Links: Link to Lonestar Learning Math Target the Question
Materials: Elementary
Other Items: 5 Lonestar Learning Target the Question Math Digital Account First Grade, $59.99 ea. each
5 Lonestar Learning Target the Question Math Digital Account Second Grade, $59.99 ea. each
4 Lonestar Learning Target the Question Math Digital Account Third Grade, $59.99 ea. each
2 Lonestar Learning Target the Question Math Digital Account Fourth Grade, $59.99 ea. each
1 Lonestar Learning Target the Question Math Digital Account Fifth Grade, $59.99 ea. each