Saturday, July 28, 2012

Head Problems...MORE Math Thinking {freebie}

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.
TeachinginRoom6.blogspot.com, math common core, math reasoning

The basic routine of Head Problems is simple.  I give the students three steps in which they need to compute mathematical problems.  For example,

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.
Common Core Standards Math, 5th grade, upper grades, 4th grade, education


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