I am back again with another way to get your students thinking in math. Common Core is SO based in concept and understanding, that was MUST have our students thinking about the lesson concepts they are doing on a daily basis. I previously talked to you about Two Problems, which I love. Today, I am going to discuss Head Problems with you.
Head Problems are a 3 step ORAL math problems that students complete in their head. These sound amazingly easy. However, what takes these to the next level is the amount of discussion that is taking place.
The basic routine of Head Problems is simple. I give the students three
steps in which they need to compute mathematical problems. For
Step 1: Add the number of degrees in a circle and the number of sides on a triangle.
Step 2: Subtract the digit in the ones place from the digit in the tens place.
Step 3: Multiply by the number of pints in a quart.
You then debrief the problem with the students EVEN BEFORE THEY SHOUT
OUT TO CONFIRM THE ANSWER. You lead them through each step of the
problem, having them talk to their neighbor, discussing each step one by
one. The entire class confirms the answer to each step before moving
on. This allows those students who have completely followed along to
get validation that they were right, and those students who weren't
quite sure to get it straight in their head. The added benefit is that
the stronger math students are able to express their math knowledge to
the not so strong students, helping them both in the end.
To learn a bit more about these types of problems, and pick up your free template to create your own that you can use in your room, click here :) This is a strategy that can be used across all grade levels, for all standards of the Common Core. I have to say, these (along with the Two Problems) have had such an impact on the quality of math thinking in my room...it is worth every second it takes in the day.