Painless Problem Solving Daily Routine

by Learning Harbor Resources for Teachers
Grades K - 3

Wouldn't it be great if your students were excited about problem solving every day? Wouldn't it be wonderful if your students thought that problem solving was FUN?  Wouldn't you love to see your students engaged in problem solving?  


This is a classroom tested problem solving routine. We solve two problems a day. On any one day both of the problems are the same type. The types are listed below. First one problem is projected onto a screen and it is acted out by students and worked together as a whole class. The second problem is read and discussed as a whole class and then worked individually or by partners using manipulates, drawing pictures, or using math strategies that the students have learned. It is important for first graders to solve four types of math word problems.

  • Add To, or Join
  • Take From, or Separate
  • Put Together / Take Apart/ or Part, Part, Whole
  • Compare 
The term Compare is used in both Cognitively Guided Instruction  and Common Core Standards. The terms Join, Separate, and Part, Part, Whole are used in Cognitively Guided Instruction. The terms Add To, Take From, and Put Together / Take apart are used in Common Core Standards.

These are my tried and true methods of teaching problem solving. This works well for whole class or for guided math groups.  Below is a list of the activities I use.  After that, is an example using each type of problem.
  • Project a grade level appropriate word problem on a white board or screen.  This should not be a worksheet. Task cards work well because the students will be concentrating on only one problem at a time.
  •  After reading the problem together, I choose students to act out the problem.
  • We reread the problem and students work the problem on wipe off white boards.
I project a new problem of the same type, and we read and discuss the problem as a class.The students solve the problem on a wipe off board or paper.  Students may draw a picture, use manipulatives such as cubes or counters. or us  math strategies that they have learned. 
                                                         Add to, or Join
Kate had 5 flowers.  Julie gave Kate 2 more flowers.  How many flowers did Kate have altogether?
I call two girls two the front of the class. One will play the part of Kate and the other will play the part of Julie. Kate will pick up 5 plastic or paper flowers. Julie will give Kate 2 more flowers. Kate will lay all the flowers on a table and will lead the students in counting the flowers and find the sum of 7. I will project a new Add to, or Join problem.  We will read the problem as a group and discuss it. Students will solve the problem on a wipe off board. Students may draw a picture or use manipulatives such as cubes or counters, or use a math strategy to solve the problem.
Take From, or Separate
Liam had 10 pumpkins.  He gave 2 pumpkins to Jack.  How many pumpkins did Liam have left? 
I will pick two boys to come to the front of the class. One will play the part of Liam and the other will play the part of Jack. Liam will pick up ten small plastic or paper pumpkins and lay them on the table so that the students can see them. Liam will give Jack 2 pumpkins. Liam will lead the students in counting to find the difference of 8. Students may draw a picture or use manipulatives such as cubes or counters to solve the problem.
Put Together/ Take Apart, or Part, Part, Whole
Mrs. Brown had 12 cupcakes.  6 were chocolate and the rest were vanilla. How many were vanilla? 
I would pick one girl to play the part of Mrs. Brown.  She would have 12 plastic or paper cupcakes. She would move 6 away from the group and lead the class in counting how many were left to find a difference of 6. I would then project a new Put Together / Take Apart , Part, Part, Whole problem.  We will read the problem as a group and discuss it. Students will solve the problem on a wipe off board. Students may draw a picture or use manipulatives such as cubes or counters or use a math strategy to solve the problem.  to solve the problem.
                                                              Compare
Matt had 6 balloons.  Kevin had 5 more balloons than Matt.  How many balloons did Matt have?
I will pick two boys to come to the front of the class. One will play the part of Matt and the other will play the part of Kevin. Matt would have six real or paper balloons. Matt would put his balloons on a table. Kevin would add his 5 balloons to the same table.  Kevin would lead the students in counting the balloons to come up with a total of 11 balloons. I would then project a new Compare problem  We will read the problem as a group and discuss it.  Students will solve the problem on a wipe off board. Students may draw a picture or use manipulatives such as cubes or counters or use a math strategy to solve the problem.
                                                               FUN TIP
I make name tags of the names used in the problems for the students acting out the problem.  I make a big deal out of saying something like, "The part of Mrs. Brown, will be played today by Anna" in my best dramatic voice.  The kids LOVE it. Students look forward to this math problem solving time. They LOVE to be chosen to act out the problem.  It is great to have them love problem solving.
                                             BEST RESOURCE SOLUTION
Would you like to try this, but don’t have the time to write out those problems, or identify the type of and sort the problem from materials that you have?   Check out this resource.  It has 20 problems with a fall/ autumn theme. The problems are grouped so that there are always two of each type together.  Just what you need to save time in your already busy schedule.
This resource is available in Google Classroom™ or PowerPoint.


  



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Hot Off The Press! A Great Way to Practice the Math Addition Strategy, Counting On

by Learning Harbor Resources for Teachers
Grades K-2



Hot Off The Press!  A Great Way to Practice the Math Addition Strategy, Counting On

Some students really struggle with counting on.  They may have trouble starting with the largest number. They may want to count both of the addends. It can be so confusing for young learners.  I was teaching this strategy to a group of first graders. I modeled "touching" my head and said, "Put the larger number in your head and count on the smaller number. We practiced as a group and then the students began working independently. I walked around the room observing and guiding the children.  After about five minutes the students went from "touching" their heads to slapping themselves on the forehead.  Needless to say we moved on to put the larger number in your pocket the next day.

If I were planning to teach this strategy today, in guided math groups, I would pass out laminated pocket shapes, pennies and number cards. I would say, choose two number cards, put the larger number on your card, count on the second number, using the pennies.  I would observe the students and have them tell me the sums.

After the students had had many opportunities to practice with hands on materials.  I would introduce the Addition Strategy Counting On for use with Google Classroom™ activity. One slide from the activity is show above. 

This activity will help students to continue to practice Counting On in a meaningful way.  It takes many repetitions for a strategy to become automatic.  This activity is designed to provide repetitions while keeping the student engaged.  

A Way To Help Children in Uganda



By Learning Harbor Resources for Teachers
Grades K - 2



Do you know about Fields of Dreams Uganda? They do wonderful work for orphaned and vulnerable children of Uganda. 

 I have a dear friend who works with this organization.  She has been to Uganda and seen all the great things that are happening.

The Dresses For Dreams 5k is coming up on November 4, 2017.  All proceeds will go towards the Fields Of Dreams Uganda’s Girl Empowerment Projects.  The proceeds will be used to provide washable and reusable feminine hygiene kits for girls at nine partner schools.  More girls will be able to attend school and absenteeism for girls will be reduced. Dresses For Dreams 5K is held in many cities across the US.  What a wonderful project.

I know this will be near and dear to the hearts of all teachers.

If you would like to know more about Fields of Dreams Uganda, check out this link.

Color Sorting for use with Google Slides™ and Google Classroom™


by Greg Litton
Pre-K - 2nd Grade


 link from here




Do you want a way to effectively use computer technology with Pre-K and Kindergarten Students? Would you like students to develop computer or device skills while simultaneously developing the sorting skills that are so important to math and science? Here is a free lesson to help you teach technology skills and sorting skills at the same time. Before using this FREE lesson, start with sorting different colored objects such as blocks or counters. After your students have hands on practice with these, you can move on to this Google Classroom™ activity.

There are ten slides in this activity. Each slide asks the students to drag and drop all of one particular color into a marked space on the slide. There is a slide for each of these colors: blue, black, brown, white, green, orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. There are nine movable pieces of the requested color, some with different colored pieces mixed in. Students will sort the colors in the paperless activity and practice dragging and dropping objects on a computer or device.This computer activity can also be used as Response to Intervention or as an authentic assessment.

Sorting Shapes with Moveable Pieces for use with Google Classroom™



 link from here


Are you looking for a way to effectively use computer technology with Pre-K and Kindergarten students?  Would you like students to develop computer or device skills while simultaneously developing technology skills?  Here is a freebie to help you do just that! Let’s start with sorting basic shapes. Of course you would introduce basic shapes with attribute blocks and perhaps cut outs of 2d shapes.  After the students have hands on practice with these, you could move on to a Google Classroom™ activity.

There are four slides in this activity.  Each slide asks the students to drag and drop all of one particular shape in a marked space on the slide.  There is a slide for each of the following shapes, circle, square, rectangle and square. There are nine of the requested shape and a few of the other shapes on each slide.  Students sort the shapes in this paperless activity.   

Click on the Link below for the Freebie


Just In Time Back to School Sale


 down load from here

Yes, it's back to school time and Learning Harbor for Teachers is having a sale. Visit our store and use code BTS2017 to receive a discount of 25% of all products. Including the products for Google Slides and Google Classroom™. Don't miss out. Sale begins tonight August 1, 2017 at midnight and ends August 2, 2017 at midnight!

Sailing into The Future with Digital Activities



Don’t Throw the Teacher Overboard




Digital activities, paperless classrooms, Google Classroom, 1:1 classrooms.  Everywhere teachers are being encouraged to use more digital activities with their students. I think that used properly these devices can be very useful to teachers and students. Teachers should be supported in using digital activities.  Teachers know their students’ needs better than anyone. There are things to remember when planning to use digital activities.
1. There must be a balance.  Students need to write with and without devices. Students need to learn to think, communicate, and use social skills. Students also need to use digital devices.
2. Digital activities help teachers to differentiate instruction. For example, some students may be ready for a math activity in October and others or not ready for the same activity until December.  With a library of digital activities from which to choose, it is easier for teachers to meet the needs of students.
3. Having a variety of activities in different themes allows teachers to assign activities that match their students’ interests.
4. Digital activities help students in intervention groups and special education.
5. Digital activities promote engagement with learning.
6. Digital activities are interactive.
7. Digital activities will work best when teachers have the ability to choose the activities that will best meet the needs of their students.
Learning Harbor Resources for Teachers is proud to share that we are currently working on increasing lines of digital activities including interactive Google Slides, and Google Slides with moveable pieces, for use with Google Classroom as well as interactive PowerPoint games, and Boom Learning Activities.  
Would you like to get a free full sized resource every month?  Just subscribe to our monthly newsletter.
Click the image below for your FREE Interactive PowerPoint Activity


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