Sunday, January 17, 2016

Solving Word Problems in a Digital Classroom

Last year I spent a couple of weeks teaching my kids how to analyze word problems. You can read all about my lessons here .


This year I did the same lessons, with a digital twist. I am really trying to incorporate more digital activities now that I'm in my second year of going 1:1 with students to iPads. 

The first day of our problem solving unit, we created a key words chart. Last year, I had the kids write on a a recording sheet like this:

This year I created the recording sheet in Google Docs and shared it with my student in Google Classroom. In Google Classroom you are able to make a copy of a Google Doc for each student. As we acted out word problems using manipulatives, we added to the Google Doc. The students each added to their own chart - this kept them more engaged than if they watched me create the chart. Now instead of having a copy in their math journals, they have a copy in Google Drive. 

On the second day of the unit, I had students sort word problems by the 4 operations. They had to write a number sentence and an explanation for each problem. Last year it looked like this:

This year instead of using paper/pencil, the kids took pictures of the word problems and put the number sentence and explanation into a pic collage. So now it looked like this:

Now, not everything lends itself to a digital activity. Sometimes I still need my students doing paper/pencil activities. However, when I'm able to make something digital I see an increase in engagement and ownership. The reduction in copies and paper is an added bonus. 

How do you incorporate digital activities into your math block?

Interested in my word problem lesson plans? The first 3 days are available in my Teacher Pay Teacher store:

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