problem solving Archives - Tales from Outside the Classroom

Addition & Subtraction Word Problem Types

Word problems are often a teacher’s biggest struggle in math. Have you said things like “The kids don’t understand them.” and “They grab the numbers out and do a random operation.” We try so many different methods to try and help, and they fall short. Because often, our focus isn’t on teaching students the operations explicitly. And teaching them explicitly is what we need to do! The Common Core State Standards lay out the different

Read this post »
Why your Kids Struggle with Word Problems and what to do sintead

Why Your Students Struggle with Word Problems

If you’ve been a teacher for any longer than a year, you know many of your kids struggle with word problems. And by many, it could be most of your kids. Or, it could be just a few but it happens every single year. You might have tried a variety of problem solving strategies with students. You might have found one you really like and think will be “it” but then still have a crew

Read this post »
Start Change End with Addition and Subtraction on velvet board

Start Change End with Addition and Subtraction

Do you teach Start-Change-End or Start-Change-Result problem types with your students?  If not, you should be!  Start-change-end is a mathematical concept focused on the real-world application of math skills. It is first present in addition and subtraction word problems but then applied to many additional mathematical concepts in later years.  Start-Change-End scenarios are present in multiplication and division, in mixed operations, and in elapsed time.  It is just as it sounds: a beginning, middle, end

Read this post »
Halloween Word Problem Integration Project

An Art Filled Halloween

I work at an arts integration magnet school.  We’re all at various levels of comfort with our art integration and I am often looking for new and different ways to incorporate the arts into our day.  Part of our job as classroom teachers isn’t just to have the arts present in our classroom, but to also teach relevant concepts with the arts.  I have learned a lot in my first couple years in this building,

Read this post »
How to be a Problem Solving Ninja: Steps for Word Problem Success

Teaching Students to be Problem Solving Ninjas

For years I taught my students the same problem solving process. I wasn’t invested in it and I didn’t think it was the best. But, it was something I had found online for free. This year I spontaneously put a new twist on it, and it’s worked for my students better than ever before.  As I was telling students they need to go through the steps to attack the problem, I added on that they

Read this post »

Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

▹ SEARCH ◃

▹ NEWSLETTER ◃

.

Let's keep in touch! Sign up for my newsletter!

.