Saturday, March 12, 2016

Problem Solving with Balloons

Problem solving. What comes to your mind when I say that? Well, I have to say it's not my favorite things to teach in math, and I LOVE MATH. When I was planning for this past week, I was trying to find any ideas that took problem solving off of the paper and made it a little more exciting! Thank goodness for Ron Clark.

In his book The End of Molasses Classes his mentions an idea about having students collaborate on math problems using a balloon instead of a piece of paper. I read this, and knew right away that I was going to give this a try in my classroom! 

This past week in math we were scheduled to work on problem solving with decimals and whole numbers. We spent part of the week talking about the different strategies to use when problem solving, and about the operation specific strategies (ex: multiplication with standard algorithm, area model, or Lattice method).

We had some fun on Thursday with balloons and Sharpies! (It's amazing how much kids love Sharpies!)
 It was pretty simple. I posted a problem on my board, and students collaborated and wrote as many strategies and ways to solve the problem as they could on their balloon. Then we discussed the different ways on the board so everyone could see, then they could pop the balloon together!

 The math and the process was great to see, but my teacher heart was full when I heard the conversations they were having, especially when the groups were not their usual math groups. The mixed groups made the discussion so much more unique and allowed for students to see a problem in a new way.

Something as simple as a balloon is an easy way to engage your students, and change things up!

No comments:

Post a Comment