1. "Multi-Step Math Problems Backwards!" One way that I challenge my students and ultimately add a new level of depth to multi-step math problem solving is by having them rewrite a multi-step word problem backwards or in reverse. Completing this task requires the student to apply higher order thinking skills as they rethink the order of events or operations in the problem.
1.Jarrod wants to ride the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster, and the log ride. The Ferris wheel costs 5 tickets, the roller coaster costs 7 tickets and the log ride costs 1 ticket. Jarrod has 5 tickets. How many more tickets should Jarrod buy?
I love my home state of Iowa, I grew up in a small rural farm community and when I visit twice a year in the summer or winter my favorite thing to do is look out the huge bay window in my parent's living room. In the winter I can look out and see the white sheet of snow with tree branches peeking out and a stillness of life that is almost deafening. In the summer I stare at the multiplying rows of corn, soft green grass, and the herd of cattle fenced in the pasture wandering about without a care in the world.
I wanted my students to think about what they would like to see if "right now" they could see anything outside that window that they desire. They were instructed to write their response in a way that what they were seeing would appear more special than anything any of us could ever imagine. I've included a link to this DOWNLOAD to use with your students.
4. "Volume and Capacity Share!" Teaching students the concept of volume and capacity and its relationship to measurement can be challenging. We teach them that the difference between capacity and volume is that, volume is the amount of space taken up by an object, while capacity is the measure of an object's ability to hold a substance but many times students don't know where to draw the line between the two.
As an introduction, invite your students to each bring an empty food box to school; it could be a cereal, jello, cake mix, or even a casserole box.
The next day have them set their empty boxes on their desk. Provide a large box of math counters (all the same size) and this Data Sheet for them to fill out on their box or container. Before you begin, provide a mini-lesson on measuring volume by using examples and measuring boxes of your own. Then show them how to measure capacity by filling a box with counters.
At this point, they are ready to begin recording, measuring and counting: (I have provided the DOWNLOAD to the data sheet below .) I have each student share their data one by one and as each student is sharing I use engaging questions to reiterate the meanings of volume, capacity and weight. After the last student has shared their data, the students usually seem to have a genuine grasp on these measurement concepts. Last, I have them attach their data sheet to their box and we keep them on display as we continue to investigate these concepts.