Solving the Problem

One Step at a Time

Question:

If Marlee and Sophie went to the park with 4 of their friends but realized only half of them could swing at a time. How many children would have to play on the jungle gym instead of the swings?

Revoicing:

What type of math are we going to have to use? Subtraction, addition, multiplication, or division?

Rephrasing:

Why are we using that method? Can anyone explain to me in their own words how Jill came up with that answer?

Reasoning:

Raise your hand if you agree with both Jill and Caleb. Raise your hand if you disagree with Jill or Caleb. Who can share with us why you disagree with their choice of method for this problem?

Elaborating:

What is an example? How did you come up with that answer? Is there a better way of doing this problem?

Waiting:

Discuss these ideas with the person next to you. Do you agree with your neighbor?

Misconceptions:

Students tend to limit themselves to only one way of solving the problem, however in this question there are a few different paths to be taken. Jill and Caleb both agreed that the first step includes adding the two girls to the four friends that meet them at the park, after getting that solution the students decided the next best step would be to divide the total number of children by two to get their answer. When a student in the class disagreed with them he was not wrong. He thinking was that after you add the two girls to the four friends to find out what half that number is and subtract it from the whole. None of these students were wrong because they both came to the final answer.