Observing Student Problem Solving
 Introduction | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Counters | Problem Reflection #1 | How Many Vehicles? -- Using Numbers and Cubes | Problem Reflection #2 | Classroom Practice | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal

Think about the student work and reflect on the following questions. Once you've formulated your own answer to each question, select "Show Answer" to use a sample response.

 Question: How is Gabriella and Javier's strategy different from Mariko and Angela's? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: Mariko and Angela use the counters to help them get a better understanding of the problem. They actually group the counters to find the solutions. Gabriella and Javier see that they can add 4's to get to 24. They write a number sentence and check their work by modeling the problem with cubes. (The cubes also help them recognize the error they made in their initial number sentence.)
 Question: What might be a limitation of this strategy with young children? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: It is difficult for students to catch errors when they go directly to a number sentence. In this example, the students had the right idea, but they didn't check their written response, so they didn't catch their mistake. When the teacher asked them to show their response with the cubes, the use of the second approach helped the students realize that their number sentence was not correct.
 Question: How does the use of manipulative materials in this work differ from the way these materials were used in the first example of student work? Show Answer
 Sample Answer: In the second example, the students used the materials to check their solution. They already had an idea of what the answer was. The six stacks of cubes were a visual representation of the number sentence the students already wrote.

 Teaching Math Home | Grades K-2 | Problem Solving | Site Map | © |