In fact, using the same vocabulary across problem types helps students see the relationship of the numbers at a deeper level. Students are not solving a word problem to find “the answer”. My students can still explain, after instruction, that they A couple years ago, I came across this article about the need to help students develop adequate models to understand the relationship of the numbers within the problem. I needed to make a distinction between the students use to understand the relationship of the numbers in the problem and the strategies to solve the computation in the problem.
Although the answer helps me, the teacher, understand whether or not the student understood the relationship of the numbers, I want students to be able to explain their process and understand the depth of word problems. Those two things work in tandem but are very different.
The examples above are mainly for join and separate problems.
It’s no wonder our students have so much difficulty with compare problems since we don’t teach them to the same degree as join and separate problems.
I also change numbers throughout the year, from one-digit to two-digit numbers.
The beauty of the blank spaces is that I can put any numbers I want into the problem, to practice the strategies we have been working on in class.
The most important thing about models is to move away from them. You spend so long teaching students how to use models and then you don’t want them to use a model.
Well, actually, you want students to move toward efficiency.
Our students need even more practice with those types of problems because the relationship of the numbers is more abstract.
I’m going to leave that for another blog post, though.