By Darla Milford, Instructional Coach
Running Record, CRC Session with Dr.Nicki Newton
Bob gave to Suzy. They’re much more interested in things like music, video games, movies, trading
cards, money, and friends” (Bailey, 2002, p. 61) so make it personal!!!
problem to figure out the answer. Some of these words may include ‘how many in all’ referring to
addition or ‘what is the difference’ suggesting subtraction. This strategy is essentially a quick ‘trick’
to help students solve the problem but it is important not to focus entirely on keywords without
considering the contextual information within the problem. Focusing on words alone takes away
from the mathematical reasoning and understanding that is required in higher level or multi-step
problems students will encounter as they move forward in math.
term ‘times’ means that we multiply 8 X 2, when, in fact, if you read the problem in context you will
figure out that you already know that Joe has 8 marbles but you need to figure how many marbles
Joe’s brother had before adding these numbers together to get our answer.
Open-Ended Problem Solving
important to provide opportunities for kids to demonstrate their mathematical understanding through
the use of ‘Open’ word problems. ‘Open’ word problems are just that, open-ended, with a variety
of questions that could be asked as well as proven. She suggested using a ‘3 Reads Protocol’
reading strategy to help make the problem more about the math than the reading component.
- Begin by reading the problem altogether out loud.
information and have them figure out the answer.
own problems to increase engagement and metacognition.
Dr. Nicki Newton’s authentic approach to teaching math problem solving in real world contexts makes
sense. When students are connected to their learning and they can see the implications in the world
around them, they become much more invested. Make sure you check out Dr. Nicki’s blog and if you
have any questions about her material, be in touch with the Instructional Coach in your building!