Problem Solving, Paragraphs, & Terry Fox

23 Sep

For the past little while we’ve been talking about problem solving in math class.  We use the four-step problem solving model.

  1. Understand the Problem – read it carefully & highlight important information.
  2. Make a Plan – think about some strategies that might work.
  3. Solve – use the plan to solve the problem, switch strategies if necessary
  4. Check – check our solutions by using another strategy

Here is or anchor chart with some of the strategies we might use to solve problems.

Problem Solving strategies

Here are the notes we took on problem solving in our interactive math notebooks.  The right side of the page is the note and the left side is the student reflection:

Feet Closed

Feet Open

Left Side:


Then we used this method to solve the handshake problem – we’ll share our solutions later but for now see if you can solve it:

If everyone in our class shook hands with everyone else, how many handshakes would there be?  (we have 21 students in our class).


For the first few months of school we are working on writing excellent paragraphs.  Every week we have a topic and brainstorm ideas for the topic.  Then we write the detail sentences with an explanation, the opening and closing sentences and finally we put it all together in a really good paragraph.  While we are working on the organization of paragraphs we are also looking at the other traits of good writing.  We use our VOICES board to look at the traits (more on that later).

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Finally, this afternoon was the Terry Fox Run, postponed last week due to rain.  We had glorious, sunny weather and a perfect temperature for running!

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


One response to “Problem Solving, Paragraphs, & Terry Fox

  1. Alex

    November 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    This was a good post. I liked how you made graphs and wrote a lot of different lists
    about problem solving. I also liked how you explained every graphs with writing. I also liked how you put the slideshow of the terry the fox run. I would like to learn more about what the terry the fox run is. Great Job with the post though. -Alex


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