Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Story problems--Students explain their thinking

We have been working towards having students complete story problems and explain how they got their answer on the iPad. This allows us, the teachers, to be "right next to each student" while working the problem. I may not be able to actually sit by each student but I can address their misunderstandings and great thoughts afterwards through a video or sitting one-on-one with them by learning what they did while working the story problem.

We took baby steps to get there. I think the first step is to have them talk into the iPad. Initially, they were hesitant. We are still working on making sure all 100% of the students are talking into the iPad, they are recording and saving their work, they are doing the work expected from them, and the noise level in the classroom is conducive to recording multiple children at the same time.

For this activity, we used Dropbox (my new favorite app) for the students to get the written story problem from. I would change the the story problem so it fits on 2 lines. If the students weren't careful, the story problem did not fit great on the screen. So by making sure it fits easily, then the students can upload the story problem and start without asking for help. (Independence!). The students then read the story problem and draw a picture and writte the number sentence and explain how they got the answer. This was the expectation articulated to them. We provided the word "story" for them to save it. The rest they did on their own.

Here are some examples of students who completed the number problems on their own. (We also had a group of students who worked with the teacher as well).

Breonna actually did all the work and then explained how she did it.

Katelynn did most of the work and then wrote the number sentence while recording. She is starting to use some transitional words in explaining the math.

Charles talks us through how he did the problem, though he doesn't write the number sentence.

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