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3rd grade word problem lesson

Module by: Rosy Audette. E-mail the author

Summary: This lesson plans details an opening, introduction of new material, guided practice, independent practice, a closing and ideas for differentiation. There is a standards based objective, key points of the lesson and materials needed. This lesson allows students to practice solving words problems using manipulatives and to create math sentences.


Math: Word Problems (55 minutes)

By Rosy Audette, November 20, 2010

Table 1
Defining Success
OBJECTIVE. What will your students know, understand or be able to do by the end of class?
SWBAT identify important parts of a word problem by using manipulatives to visually represent a given problem in order to solve singular multiplication problems.
ASSESSMENT. How will you know concretely that all of your students have mastered the objective? KEY POINTS. What three to five main ideas or steps will you emphasize in your lesson?
Students will underline necessary information for a given word problem. Students will solve simple word problems with objects.
  • Only certain information is important in word problems.
  • Sometimes you need to see something in order to understand it.
Table 2
Lesson Cycle
OPENING. How will you focus, prepare and engage students for the lesson’s objective? MATERIALS.
Do Now: a sentence “Ms. Audette is my teacher today” with many unrelated words in between. The students will try to figure out what words are important and which ones are not. The teacher will explain that this is exactly what we will be doing today. “Today we will be figuring out what information is important within word problems.”(3)
INTRODUCTION OF NEW MATERIAL. How will you convey the knowledge and/or skills of the lesson? What will your students be doing to process this information?
Teacher will explain that a word problem is just another way of asking a math question (i.e., 5+7). Within each problem there are numbers that represent the question. The teacher will have manipulatives for examples of real life problems. She will explain that using objects is another way of figuring out problems. The teacher will ask herself a question (identical to the word problem written on a poster) and model how she would find the relevant information. (10)
GUIDED PRACTICE. In what ways will your learners attempt to explain or do what you have outlined? How will you monitor and coach their performance?
The class will go through two more examples with the teacher by having the class decide what information they need to know.(10)
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE. In what ways will your different learners attempt the objective on their own? How will you gauge mastery?
Each table will be a station. The students will each bring their math journals with them. For each problem, each child must write the numerical equivalent and answer in their journals. The student groups will have five minutes at each station. The stations will have a word problem to be solved as a group and a set of manipulatives that match the word problem. The group will underline the important information in the problem. From this information, the students will use the objects to create a visual representation of the word problem. Then they will solve the problem. The teacher will be monitoring behavior and progress. She will also use the answered word problems to assess understanding.(27)
CLOSING. How will you have students summarize what they’ve learned? How will reinforce the objective’s importance and its link to past and future learning?
To check for understanding and to summarize, the teacher will have a problem on the board that involves the students in the room. They have to decide what information is important. The teacher will reiterate the need to distinguish important information from a word problem in order to figure it out, and that using manipulatives is a way of organizing thoughts.(5)
Poster of written out word problems related to the objectsObjects: toys, books, markers, etc.Group job poster: one underliner, one reader, two object handlers
Table 3
DIFFERENTIATION: How will you differentiate your instruction to reach the diversity of learners in your classroom?
I will group the students by separating out the math groups from math/literacy in order to make the groups heterogeneous. I will also reinforce the need for each student to help others when needed.

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