Saturday, September 22, 2012

Arrrrrrr-e you Ready for Word Problems?

I don't know about everybody else out there, but for me it feels like anytime you put an early release day into the mix it's like you multiply the amount of craziness in your week by 5. . .seriously. Throw in Open House and you'll be in crazy overload. Annnnnnnnd if that's not enough loco for you, teaching word problems definitely should do the trick! (Cupcakes make everything better so I made sure to whip up a batch for the Open House/Early Release/word problem teaching madness. . .kid tested & approved).
I used to dread teaching my kiddos how to solve word problems. The kids were always so overwhelemed and bored with the way that our math series presented the concept (our series will remain nameless). I knew something had to change so I ditched the workbooks, incorporated some super cute read alouds, and most importantly- I let the magic of creativity take over my classroom. Now it's actually one of my favorite units to teach. Being that September 19th is "Talk Like a Pirate Day" a pirate themed word problem unit was just too hard to pass up. On Monday we dove head first into my "Shiver Me Timbers" word problem unit. All week we practiced solving addition word problems and subtraction word problems. Each day's lesson began with a pirate themed read aloud and continued with a hands on activity that allowed the kids to practice using the strategies to solve the problems. I have never in my life heard so much giggling and seen so many smiles with kids solving word problems. They especially l-o-v-e-d the word problem solving sheets. Vis-a-vis markers are officially the coolest thing since sliced bread to my kids. Specific directions are included within the packet, but here's the short scoop: each kid gets a laminated word problem sheet and a marker. They use their strategies to solve the word problem on their sheet. Before they can erase their work (with a wet paper towel) they have to have you check their work. Since I have some of the wiggliest kids on the entire face of the earth this year (no lie) I added in a little musical chairs inspired wiggle break to this activity. I had all of my kids come to the rug and sit down. A marker and a word problem solving sheet were placed at each student's desk. I used my wonderful iPhone and Pandora (love them both to pieces) to play songs from the KidsBop station. As soon as the music started playing the kids had to dance/move around the room. When it stopped, they had to find a seat, sit down, and start solving. We played 3 rounds of the game and they begged to play more during indoor recess. Shut the front door! Indoor recess AND more math practice!! When have you ever heard that combination being requested?? Love, love, love it! After 4 days of solving word problems, it was time for the kids to create their very own. . .enter the craftivity! Patterns are included in the packet along with 2 versions of the recording sheet (for differentiation purposes).
Holy cuteness! Who knew teaching word problems could be so fun! You can get the entire packet at my TpT store for only $3.00. It completely held my kids captive for the entire week. . .and that says a lot!

1 comment:

  1. I will have to check out your pirate packet.