Sunday, August 18, 2013

Daily Math Challenge: Upping the Rigor in Mathematics Instruction

All teachers (should) follow lessons plans and unit plans in order to make their instruction cohesive and make sense. I'm not going to get into all the aspects of following scaffolded, developmentally appropriate lesson plans, but if you're "winging it" everyday in the classroom without a clear focus, don't expect a lot of learning to take place.

The point of this post is taking a little timeout in math everyday to let students think and work through challenging, rigorous problems without an immediately evident solution. I call this activity "daily brain work," and it takes 10 minutes. The intent here is to pose a problem to the class, and to step away and let them work through the problem on their own. Students should be able to elaborate and articulate how they reached their solution. Finally, go over the problem, have some students share their answers, and hopefully at least a few have the correct solution to share.

In order to get started, I needed some multi step story problems. Don't start too difficult, and make sure that everything you give students is developmentally appropriate for the majority of the class.

Here are some resources to find multi step word problems and other math puzzles / brain workouts:

Math Multi-Step Word Problems

Brain Teasers / Math Puzzles

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