Friday, November 13, 2009

A Busy and Productive Week!

What a week!  It felt like a whirlwind trying to cram every second of math into each day.  We were one day short due to conferences, but I think we made up for it.

This week's tasks:

Continue to master converting fractions, decimals, and percents.
Adding and subtracting decimals
Multiplying and dividing decimals
Estimating all problems before solving
A few tricks when estimating
Continue to plan and map out complicated word problems using
the organizational method learned from Arthur Hyde in his excellent book "Comprehending Math".

This method is awesome.  He calls it the KWCS

K( know for sure)       W( need to find out)    C(Special Conditions)


I call it the KFCS for two reasons.  It is easier for kids to remember (The chicken joint). It makes a little more sense to me.  The F for find out.

The students take the information from the problem and sort it out.  The K and the F are pretty self explanatory.  The C is quite interesting.  It asks if there are any special conditions, special things that the students need to know in their minds in order to solve the problem.   IF the problem involves time, they need to know 60 seconds in a minute, 60 seconds in an hour.  If the problem involves customary linear measurement, they need to know there are 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard.  You get the picture.

Having this information organized and sorted makes solving the problem so much easier.
Any tricks can be teased out by carefully reading the information a second time.

We are exploring the different ways to solve each problem.  This is our next important step.  We will be experimenting with different problem solving strategies, and learning to pick the most efficient method to solve.  This whole process is called braiding.  I'm only on page 50 or so of this book.

Click here to link to a clear and comprehensive explanation of this process.

Like with writing and reading, the students are stuffing their proverbial backpacks with a load of strategies and tricks to help them attack and conquer anything thrown at them.

Class Average over 90 for all of the tasks listed above!
I hope building these foundations now will make the rest of the year so much easier.

I can't wait to see what happens next!

1 comment:

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