Sunday, August 6, 2017

Problems Solving Practice for Primary Kids

If you got a problem, yo, I'll solve it........  Problem solving is tricky.  There's just too many correct ways to solve things, that it's just about impossible to REALLY teach it once and done.  It HAS to be done many times.  In fact, daily!

Last year, when I decided to take the "guided math" route, one of my rotations was Problem Solving.  At first, it was just me trying to find worksheets for kids to do while there.  Well, that was rough!  That could potentially be 180 worksheets.  180 times to copy papers... 180 things to correct....  You know.

I needed my life to be more of a "fix it and forget it" for some things to keep me sane.  I do it in the crockpot for dinner a few times a week.  And those nights where dinner is ready for me-those are my favorite.

I had an old booklet that I created when I was in first grade for many years that I pulled out one day and we used it for the week.  Kids completed a few pages a day.  (Number of problems were determined by the number pages and days for the week-could be a math problem to solve together before starting that week!) . I was in love with the small prep work involved and the high engagement.

A product was born.  From that day on, I created a themed pack (or 2) per month.  {The one above was the first one I created when we were starting the two-step process.}  In each pack were a variety of problems for second graders (or high first/low third-depending on the month).  I tried to make more than needed so I could pick and choose what I wanted them to do.  In my room, I chose 15 for each week.  That is 3 problems a day in 12-15 minutes.

As the year progressed, the skills were harder.  At the beginning of the year, it focuses more on one and two-step problems.  By the end of the year, there are still some one and two-step problems, but there is also elapsed time, money, number patterns and much more!

Of course, grading these can be a bit of a pain...  So, a system I had in place had me checking kids' work every 2 days.  I would mark the pages I looked at as I went, so by the end of the week it was much more manageable to go through and correct the rest.  Now, I have to say I have this AMAZING para who worked in my classroom for a small portion of the day and she would help me too.  She created an amazing spreadsheet for me each week to mark the mistakes that the kids had.  She really spoiled me.

My kids truly LOVED completing these EVERY DAY!  They would ask if they could do more.  By the end of the year, they were great Super Solvers!  {Of course, with the nature of the beast of second grade, we still had lots of errors due to the FAST nature of completing work at times..... BUT, looking at performance over time, they GOT the skills needed!  Fingers crossed they still remember next year in third...}

I have individual packs in my store-or a current growing bundle.  The bundle is almost finished and is not quite at full face value.  Here are some of the reviews it is getting!

Want to see more?  Check it out in my store by clicking any of the pictures above, or by clicking HERE!

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