Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bright Ideas! Pocket Chart Problem Solving!

It's time to "link up" again with the Bright Ideas link up!  This is one of my favorite link ups because it's only point is to share GREAT ideas to help you and your students--nothing to sell...nothing to enter...just good old fashioned "Try this!"!  Here's my tip for you this month...

One thing that I do a LOT of in my classroom is problem solving.  We do problems to warm up.  Problems if we finish early. Problems alone.  Problems in partners.  

I like students to be able to have some choice in their problem solving choices at times, so many years ago I started using small pocket charts to have problems hanging in my room at all times.  Sometimes these problems tie to my unit, sometimes they tie to another content area (ex. human body word problems), sometimes they are to review other concepts, and sometimes they are just an assortment!

To help differentiate, I sometimes use a green, yellow, red coding system so students can self-select just the right problem type to try.  Green means "GO AHEAD!"...these problems should be accessible to everyone.  Yellow asks students to "SLOW DOWN" and read the problems first to see if they are a good fit.  Red means, "STOP!"  and try the other ones first before tackling them!

I use lots of different types of problems...these are actually some task cards--most of which are review and challenge fraction problems.  Sometimes I even use problems that my students write that I type up.
Here is one of my mathematicians making his selection!
We glue these problems right into our math spirals and students are ready to roll!  It's a great way to differentiate and have problems ready at all times.

I love being able to prepare ahead of time and know that my students will always have a meaningful activity to work on if they finish early.  It's also great for math rotations or partner work--and you can make sure the problems are a "just right" level of challenge for everyone.

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  1. I love the way you've organized this, and I love the idea of putting them in notebooks! Thanks for sharing!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  2. Great idea! I need to get more problem solving into my classroom. We already use math notebooks, so this would be perfect. Thanks!



  3. Do you have your task cards available?

  4. Do you have your task cards available?

    1. Alicia...I have tons of task cards and word problems in my store...seasonal, by topic, etc. Stop by and check them out!

  5. I am going to do this next year Meg! Thanks for the awesome idea!

  6. What a great idea! I will be implementing this for sure. Thank you for sharing.