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Teachers determine if the whole class will do the same problem,

similar problem or differentiated problem (foundation or
extension). A bare number problem may be a good place to
start so students are only focusing on learning the strategy - not
trying to make sense of a word problem as well.
As students become familiar with the strategy, a variety of
problems could be used. This is intended to be a flexible tool to
strengthen student learning and offer a structure for student to
student math discourse.
Here are some possibilities:
BEGINNING UNIT Use when making strategies explicit
through whole group modeling. The strategy sheet could be
used over a unit. As a teacher notices a strategy being
used by students, the student could be asked to share
explaining his/her strategy to the teacher, and the teacher
records student thinking on an anchor chart for reference.
The strategy can be named as a particular mathematical
strategy. If its an invented strategy that works (is
generalizable) then perhaps the class can name it

Selecting Problems & Considerations:

MID UNIT RESOURCE Use in the middle of a unit of study

after students have access to multiple strategies. Give
students the target problem, then ask them to think about
the strategy they would use to solve it. Students
independently fill in My Strategy then look for classmates
that have used a different strategy. The student sharing
their strategy explains it to their partner, who records this
strategy on their own sheet. Each student could end up with
3-4 strategies for solving a targeted type of problem. This
becomes a resource sheet for solving future problems. If
students become stuck they can look at the names on their
strategy/resource sheet and ask a classmate if they cant

What are students struggling with that you

want to explicitly teach/reteach?
What language do students need to learn
and practice using?
What vocabulary needs to be introduced,
taught, reviewed?
DIFFERENTIATION If the target standard is
3.OA.3, for example, the teacher could have an on
grade level problem AND a problem aligned to
2.OA.3 as a foundational problem for students who
need additional practice. An extended problem
could also be offered beyond the number ranges in
3.OA.3. (These can be printed on sticky return
address labels to save time, print)

HOMEWORK A student adds their strategy to the first box.

(Or, this could be a strategy introduced whole group.) The
strategy sheet could then be sent home for students to ask
someone in their family to share their strategy. This can
then be brought back to school. This could be a tool to
communicate what students are learning in math, honor and
share what students might be learning from their family.
There may be times teachers might ask students to explain
their home strategy and how it works; what are differences?

Examples 3.OA.3-4

10 x n = 110
6 x 10 = 3 x n x 10

JOURNALING Students select a strategy and explain how it

works (writing like a mathematician!) in a journal response
or as a writing prompt during literacy.

2 groups of 4

BUDDY ROOMS Classrooms often have buddy

roomswhat could this look like for a younger to ask an
older student to share/teach their strategy for the same
problem (after students have already recorded at least one


12 x n = 180
906 9 = ?


asked to write a story context for a bare number problem in
one of the strategy boxes.

Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment

January 2015

Strategy Sheet