Published on July 21, 2009
Identify an area of need difficult concepts lacks student interest dry content Identify resources online tools and resources available software Write your lesson plan Connect to other subject areas Identify pre-requisite skills Identify objectives
Identify an area of need
lacks student interest
online tools and resources
Write your lesson plan
Connect to other subject areas
Identify pre-requisite skills
A message from the author: This technology enhanced learning unit, “Tell Me a Story: A Story Problem, That is!” was created in order to help the 3 rd Grade teacher motivate their students to learn how to solve math story problems. It was indicated to me through various interviews that this is one of the most difficult concepts for students to understand due to reading and comprehension skills. In order to facilitate the instruction in this area, I have looked at and suggested some technology enhancements which will motivate the students’ interest in solving problems. I also felt that a very valuable aspect of story problem solving was to allow the students to create their own problems. I have suggested some primary graphics programs which also have word processing capabilities. With these programs, a student may illustrate almost any aspect of a math story problem. Time, money, fractions, place value, and more can be graphically shown with literally hundreds of beautiful color icons and clip art in a way that students will enjoy and remember. This is a good way to incorporate the multiple intelligences and different learning styles of students. The hands on nature creates a connection between the hand and eye for the tactile learner. The colorful artwork is a visual treat for the student who learns more optically. Sounds can be added in some programs for the auditory learner. The simplicity of cute tools and easy to recognize icons makes it possible for those with special needs to be productive. yet the creative nature of the work challenges even the gifted. This puts the work in the upper level of Bloom’s Digital Scale: creating. Students may work alone, or in small groups in order to learn how to cooperate, collaborate, and generate ideas.
Integrating Technology & 3 rd Grade Math by Noreen Strehlow
Resources online tools and resources available district software http://www.asset.asu.edu/new/mathactive/gradesk_2.html http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/index.html CYBERCHASE teaches kids that math is everywhere, everyone can be good at it, and it's fun! Activities support numbers & operations, angles & geometry, budgeting, estimation, fractions, algebra, bar graphs, using models, patterns, time keeping, logic, perimeter & area, place value, functions, and line graphs. This is graphic intensive and might take a while to load so be patient. Activities are rooted in NCTM standards. http://www.mathstories.com/ I have included far more resources than are needed but wanted to make this document functional as a total online math resource.
online tools and resources
available district software
http://www.homeschoolmath.net/math_resources_2.php http://www.teachrkids.com/ http://www.aplusmath.com/ http://www.funbrain.com/math/index.html
http://www.figurethis.org/challenges/math_index.htm http://www.eduplace.com/kids/mw/g_5.html http://www.321know.com/ Interactive Area & Volume
http://www.mathplayground.com/ SMART Board Lesson Search Interactive Tools Create a Graph
http://www.coolmath.com/ http://www.moneyinstructor.com/skills.asp http://www.multiplication.com/index.htm http://www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org/aunty/
Virtual Geoboard Scholastic Math Online http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/11_16/site/maths.shtml http://www.k4.dion.ne.jp/~mnaka/animation.html
Resources online tools and resources available district software Tux Paint Math
online tools and resources
available district software
Students need some basic skills such as: Good mouse skills: double clicking, pointing, selection Being able to navigate around a document page Keyboarding at grade level 3 rd graders should be able to touch type the entire alphabet How to use some basic paint and drawing tools How to save files to a folder on a flash drive or specific server space How to be an adventurous and curious learner! How to work with a partner or small group
Students need some basic skills such as:
Good mouse skills: double clicking, pointing, selection
Being able to navigate around a document page
Keyboarding at grade level
3 rd graders should be able to touch type the entire alphabet
How to use some basic paint and drawing tools
How to save files to a folder on a flash drive or specific server space
How to be an adventurous and curious learner!
How to work with a partner or small group
You can integrate story problems into any content area. For example: If nine colonies became states after Georgia did, how many states were there in all?
So you’ve got some 3 rd grade kids to teach. Ok, you can handle that. You’re bigger than they are and you can probably talk louder. So you have to teach them how to do math story problems. Ok, still a manageable situation. You’ve taken your methods courses and you know how to teach them. So, it’s just not going the way you thought it would. The kids are just not “getting it.” Ok, now what? You want this to work, but everything you try falls just a little flat. You decide to try using the computer. You heard that there is supposed to be some sort of math software, somewhere in the building. You sort of know how to use the computer. You’re an intelligent human being so you should be able to make this all come together, right? If you want to make good use of technology in your classroom, you need to be a bit more aggressive about it. Do not passively follow someone else’s plans. You really need to find out what works and what doesn’t, just like your other lesson plans. When I teach a new program, I never “give” them much information about it. I ask a lot of “what do you think” and “what might happen if” style questions, and offer students very little unless they get hopelessly stuck. This rarely happens if you provide an environment where problem solving is built into the process.
Never let a child just sit there looking puzzled. Get them to try something. Do it with humor. Ask if they think the computer would explode if they tried whatever, and they usually just laugh and try it. Working in a classroom with little equipment provides some challenges. No duh! Beware of the most insidious syndrome in the use of your few computers, which is using it only for the students who have their work properly completed. First, kids who have no trouble getting their work done are the type of student who can be enriched in dozens of ways and do not need extra time on the computer to fill that need. Second, little Eric, who barely manages to get his work done simply because he may need more time, will never get to touch the computer. He is the one who would get immeasurable help from sitting with a tutorial or simulation program that would patiently work with him until that naggingly difficult concept finally gets through his little head. No drill and kill stuff please!
Grade: 3 rd (May be adapted upward) Time: Several class sessions Goals: Students will be able to read and comprehend math story problems use a variety of problem solving strategies create their own math story problems create story problems in other content areas Objectives: Students will learn how to use various computer programs to solve story problems how to combine graphics and text to create original story problems how to decide which problem solving strategy to use Materials: 1 computer for every 2 to 3 students 1 display device that will work with your computer for class presentations Internet access when necessary
Grade: 3 rd (May be adapted upward)
Time: Several class sessions
Goals: Students will be able to
read and comprehend math story problems
use a variety of problem solving strategies
create their own math story problems
create story problems in other content areas
Objectives: Students will learn
how to use various computer programs to solve story problems
how to combine graphics and text to create original story problems
how to decide which problem solving strategy to use
1 computer for every 2 to 3 students
1 display device that will work with your computer for class presentations
Internet access when necessary
Class 1: Talk about story problems and with the entire class watching, create an illustrated problem that depicts a situation based on student suggestions. In the process of creating the graphic depiction of the problem, you will be able to get the children to “see” what the problem is really saying, and what needs to be done in order to solve it. Solve the problem collaboratively. Class 2: Familiarize the students with the piece of software they will use to create their own original story problems. Give them a chance to explore the features, and review what they learned about the program by watching you work with it. Class 3: Have the students write a draft version of their story problem, brainstorming with their partner. This draft should include a colored picture of how the problem will look. They will have more of an idea about this since they have now seen the program on two occasions. Look over the work and help the team revise anything that doesn’t seem to make sense after peer editing. Class 4 - 6: Students will work with their partner to recreate their revised draft with the software. Files should be saved carefully to a flash drive if you do not have access to a student folder on the server. Finished screens can be put into a multimedia presentation for viewing.
Story problems can be assessed by making them a part of a math portfolio. The portfolios can provide a picture of student performance in mathematics, including story problems, over time. Teachers fill out an assessment sheet for each activity that the students can keep with their work or can be accessed online. (Google Docs may be a good choice for this) The assessment sheet shows what the student needs to improve on or what the student has successfully accomplished. Besides the teacher, the students should also have a chance to self-evaluate with a similar assessment tool or rubric.
Student Group Work Assessment Sheet Name:_________________________________________________________________ Put a next to the phrases that apply to your group work My group: Had a plan Worked well together Tried different ideas Found an answer Verified the answer Complete the following: 1. My group learned______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 2. When I made a suggestion______________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 3. My group solved the problem by_________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 4. The materials we used were_____________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Comments/Concerns:_____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________
Story Problem Assessment Sheet for Teachers/Students Student:_____________________________________ Date:________________________________________ Activity:______________________________________ Comments:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Worthy of Imitation Shows Competence Needs Improvement Develops and uses a plan Explains process Resolves difficulties with success Persistent in finding a solution Tries alternative approach Verifies results
Portfolio Criteria Rating Form Additional Comments/Concerns:_____________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Criteria Teacher Comments Shows development of math concepts. Shows thinking and reflection involved in math reasoning, conjecturing, exploring, and processing Shows development in growth in story problem skills. Shows development in growth in use of technology. Shows evidence of self assessment and self correction.
To solve story problems, students need to collect and organize the data, develop a plan, try alternative approaches if a method fails, and verify the results. The tools and skills developed in this unit can be further used in developing more complex knowledge. Students can use these basic skills to figure out problems with time, money, measurement, and geometry. They can move on to analyze data, create graphs, predict outcomes of probability, and solve logic problems. Eventually, the students will be able to use these strategies in finding missing variables in algebra. When solving problems in real life, people call upon all the resources they have developed in other situations—prior knowledge, life experience, and intuition. People need to analyze, predict, make decisions, and evaluate in order to come up with solutions. In order to function in our complex and changing society, our students need to be able to solve a wide variety of problems. The elementary math curriculum must prepare children to become effective problem solvers.
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