Laura Candler's Math Problem Solving page is where you'll find great resources for teaching problem solving as well as a variety of math problem activity pages. Many of the items on this page are free and do not come with directions. For complete problem solving lessons, check out the Daily Math Puzzlers, a series of four leveled books that include information on how to teach problem solving as well as mixed-problem activity pages for students.
Math Buddy Chat is a step-by-step method that you can learn about when you watch the Math Problem Solving webinar above. The purpose of this activity is to have students work with a partner to solve word problems. One difficulty that teachers commonly face when students work in pairs is that one person does all the work while the other watches passively. With Math Buddy Chat, students alternate between working independently and working together as they solve each problem.
How to Get the Free PowerPoint
To make this activity really easy to implement, I created a PowerPoint that you can download and show to your students as you walk them through this problem-solving method. After you download your copy of Math Buddy Chat PowerPoint, please watch the webinar because to understand how, when, and why you would use this activity. During the webinar, I completely explain this strategy and give the URL where you can download this freebie. It requires an initial investment of time on your part to watch the webinar and download the file, but after your students learn how to use this method, they'll be able to use it over and over throughout the year. You'll be amazed at how effective this method is for teaching students how to work through a math word problem!
The Common Core State Standards include eight mathematical practices that should be included as a regular part of math instruction. I created the chart shown on the right that you can use as you plan instruction to ensure that you are meeting these standards throughout the week.
What to do the standards mean?
The NC Department of Public instruction has created a set of documents for grade level called "Unpacking the Standards." These documents are a goldmine of information and strategies for teachers! One extremely helpful part of each document is the chart of Mathematical Practices that specifies how those standards look at that particular grade level. The Standards for Mathematical Practice can be found near the beginning of each document below:
Use the simple pretests in this ebook to learn how skilled your students are at solving problems and where to start them in the Daily Math Puzzler program. Even if you don't use the Daily Math Puzzler program, you'll gain valuable insights as to HOW your students attack word problems and solve them. Learn more ....
Each of the pages below is a free sample from of one of the leveled ebooks in my Daily Math Puzzlers program. These pages do not have answer keys, but the worksheets in the Daily Math Puzzlers ebooks do come with answer keys and suggestions for using them.
These worksheets are designed to be sent home once a week for students to attempt to do on their own. My students were allowed to get help but the drawings and explanations had to be in their own words and they had to be able to explain their solutions if called on in class. I hope to gather a complete collection of Weekly Math Challenge problems at some point in the future, but for now you can give these four a try!