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1 From Your Friends at The MAILBOX Grades 5 6 TEC916 High-Interest Math Problems to Reinforce Your Curriculum Supports NCTM standards Strengthens problem-solving and basic math skills Reinforces key problem-solving strategies Includes step-by-step lessons for teaching strategies

3 Table of Contents About This Book... 1 How to Use This Book... 4 Problem-Solving Process... 5 Assessment Rubric... 6 Problem-Solving Strategies and Sample Problems Act It Out... 7 Draw a Picture or Diagram... 7 Make a List, Table, or Chart... 8 Guess and Check... 8 Find a Pattern... 9 Work Backward... 9 Logical Reasoning Write an Equation Choose the Correct Operation Solve a Simpler Problem How-To Lessons for Teaching Problem-Solving Strategies Lesson 1: Act It Out Lesson 2: Draw a Picture or Diagram Lesson 3: Make a List, Table, or Chart Lesson 4: Guess and Check Lesson 5: Find a Pattern Lesson 6: Work Backward Lesson 7: Logical Reasoning Lesson 8: Write an Equation Lesson 9: Choose the Correct Operation Lesson 10: Solve a Simpler Problem Problems of the Week Fifth-Grade Problems POW! #1 Louisiana Jones and the Buried Treasure: finding a pattern POW! #2 And Then There Was One: using patterns to solve a problem POW! #3 Theater Seating: finding the correct order in which five friends sit at the movies POW! #4 Kennel Quartet: finding multiples and the least common multiple POW! #5 Heads Up! using clues to tell how many llamas and ostriches are in different fields... 40

4 POW! #6 Lucky Leftovers: dividing and then interpreting the remainder POW! #7 Worth the Change? finding the number and type of coins pulled from a pie POW! #8 Nickel Mania: comparing the value of a mile-high stack of nickels to a million nickels POW! #9 Flag Talk: changing fractions to percents POW! #10 Getting a Fair Share: making equivalent fractions POW! #11 Alien Mathematics: decoding symbols used to represent the numbers POW! #12 Cross-Country Miles: calculating the distance driven the first and last days on a trip POW! #13 Sports Quandary: figuring out how many students will play each of three sports POW! #14 Mystery Boxes: using clues to figure out the weights of four boxes POW! #15 Giving and Getting: finding the dollar amount that will yield \$50.00 with some left over POW! #16 Candle-Burning Mystery: calculating the length of candles burning at different rates POW! #17 A Teacher Who Really Measures Up! converting units of linear measurement POW! #18 Clowning Around: using clues to figure out which clown is Clara s brother POW! #19 When 3 and 5 Make 9: measuring nine feet using three feet and five feet POW! #20 Building-Block Math: finding the number of painted faces on a cube Sixth-Grade Problems POW! #21 Counting Her Sheep: finding patterns in the sums of the digits on a digital clock POW! #22 X-tra, X-tra! solving a magic square that contains an unknown variable POW! #23 Does That Compute? using letters to represent numbers in mathematical operations POW! #24 Tutoring Tactics: finding a common multiple of three numbers POW! #25 It s a Piece of Cake! dividing a cake into the most pieces with the fewest possible cuts POW! #26 Camp Winniwig s Challenge: calculating distance, rate, and time POW! #27 We All Scream for Ice Cream: finding different combinations of variables POW! #28 Space Crawl: finding all of the possible routes to reach a destination POW! #29 Three on a Trampoline: calculating what part of a trampoline each child owns POW! #30 Escape From the Zoo: determining who will reach a gate first POW! #31 One-Wheeled Wanderings: finding the distance between opposite integers POW! #32 The Three Little Fences: finding the area of squares, rectangles, and circles POW! #33 Show Me the Money! finding a fractional part of a number and converting it to a percent POW! #34 Chances Are comparing the likelihood of four events POW! #35 Soup s On! finding fractional parts of a number POW! #36 Who Wants Pizza? making the greatest and least possible fractions POW! #37 Something s Fishy! finding a container with sufficient volume to hold seven fish POW! #38 School Shopping Spree: finding combinations to equal exact amounts POW! #39 Make Room for Magic: scaling down objects to fit in a space POW! #40 For Pete s Sake! counting to ten using only fours

5 How to Use This Book POW! Problem of the Week Grades 5 6 makes teaching the problem-solving process easy. It provides everything you need: helpful background information, engaging teaching lessons, exciting student activities, and a handy assessment rubric! Use this great resource in the following ways: Have students practice the important steps of the problem-solving process (page 5). Give each student a copy of Solving the Problem to keep in a folder. It lists the five key steps in the problem-solving process: read it, think it, solve it, write it, and review it. Have students use the guide with each problem in the book. Assess students understanding of the problemsolving process (page 6). Make a copy of the handy math rubric. Use it and students written responses to help you assess their thinking during the problem-solving process and to check their understanding of each strategy. Use the overview of ten problem-solving strategies as a reference (pages 7 11). Refer to this handy guide for a brief description of and sample problem for each problemsolving strategy. Introduce or review key problem-solving strategies (pages 12 31). Teach students how to use and apply the problem-solving strategies with the ready-to-use lessons that follow the overview. For each lesson, make a transparency of the student reproducible, plus a copy for each student. Then just follow the directions on the colorful teacher page. Make problem solving fun and exciting with highinterest problems (pages ). Select from activities that are arranged by grade level and progress in order from less to more challenging. Each activity consists of a page for the teacher and one for the student. Scan the teacher page to find the problem-solving strategies or math skills students need to practice. Read the problem summary and the important information found in the problem. Note that there are even hints to give students who get stuck while solving a problem! Remind students to refer to the steps listed on their Solving the Problem page. Use the problems in a variety of ways: independent practice or homework morning work or free-time activities partner or small-group practice weekly learning center activities whole-group instruction assessment

6 Lessons forteaching Problem-Solving Strategies Lesson 1: Act It Out Description of strategy: The act-it-out strategy involves having problem solvers either role-play or physically manipulate objects, such as paper squares, to help them develop a visual image of the problem s data. The strategy is especially helpful when students need to visualize spatial relationships. Directions: Cut out the squares at the bottom of the transparency. Then guide students to complete page 13 according to the instructions below. Getting started: Have students read problem 1. Discuss the questions below one at a time, having students fill in the correct answers on their papers as you write them on the transparency. What are you to find out? (where Hobo is sitting) How many clowns are on the bus? (5) Where is Klarabell sitting? (in the front seat) Koko? (behind Smiley but in front of Lulu) Smiley? (in front of Koko) Lulu? (behind Koko) Is it hard to picture in your mind where all of the clowns are sitting? (Yes, it is very confusing trying to remember where each clown sits in relation to the others.) Would it help to label squares of paper representing the clowns and move them around, or have 5 people role-play the parts of the clowns? Why? (Yes, using paper squares or having people actually sit in chairs would make it easier to see the clowns seating arrangement.) What problem-solving strategy could you use? (act it out) Solving problem 1: Have students cut out the squares at the bottom of the page and label them with the different clowns names. Model how to look back at the clues and move the squares around to show how the clowns were seated. Then slowly read the problem aloud, having students verify that the arrangement is correct as shown. Klarabell Hobo 1st seat 2nd seat 3rd Smiley Koko seat 4th seat Lulu 5th seat Also have students role-play the problem s solution. Arrange five chairs in front of the room. Choose five volunteers to act out the clown s seating arrangement as you slowly read the problem aloud. Check to see that the arrangement is correct. Solving problems 2 and 3: Guide students through a similar procedure to solve the problems together as a class. Or have students solve the problems independently. Direct students to reuse their cutouts by flipping them over or by erasing them and relabeling. (2: trapeze artist, 3: juggler) 12

7 Name Circus Actions Sometimes it s hard to decide how to solve a problem. In some cases, you may find it helpful to act it out. You can use items to represent people or objects and move them around as needed. Or you can role-play the action in the problem. Problem-solving strategy: act it out Getting started: Read problem 1. Then look back at the problem to help you answer the questions below. Write your answers on the lines provided. What are you to find out? Problem 1: The clowns at Klarabell s Clown School are going on a field trip to the circus. The 1st 5 bus seats are reserved for them. Klarabell sits in the front seat. Koko sits behind Smiley but in front of Lulu. If Hobo isn t sitting in the 5th seat, where does he sit? How many clowns are on the bus? Where is Klarabell sitting? Koko? Smiley? Lulu? Is it hard to picture in your mind where all of the clowns are sitting? Would it help to label squares of paper representing the clowns and move them around, or have 5 people role-play the parts of the clowns? Why? What problem-solving strategy could you use? Solving problem 1: Cut out the squares at the bottom of the page. Label 5 squares each with a different clown s name. (Save the 6th square to use with another problem.) Arrange the 5 squares according to the clues in the problem to show how the clowns were sitting. Then arrange 5 chairs, one behind the other. With 4 other classmates, role-play the problem to show how the clowns were sitting. Check the actual arrangements to see whether they match the problem s clues. 1st seat 2nd seat 3rd seat 4th seat 5th seat Now use a similar procedure to solve two more problems. Problem 2: In the first ring, a few of the performers have lined up to watch the clowns pass by. The lion tamer is behind the trapeze artist but in front of the juggler. The horseback rider is in front of the lion tamer but behind the trapeze artist. Which performer is at the front of the line? Problem 3: In the center ring, some of the performers have formed a circle. The lion tamer is between the trapeze artist and the juggler. The horseback rider is next to the juggler and the clown. The elephant trainer is next to the clown but not the horseback rider. Which one is between 2 performers whose titles have exactly 4 syllables? The Education Center, Inc. POW! Problem of the Week TEC916 Note to the teacher: Each student will need scissors to complete this page. 13

8 Lessons forteaching Problem-Solving Strategies Lesson 2: Draw a Picture or Diagram Description of strategy: Problem solvers use this strategy when a simple picture or diagram helps them visualize a problem. The strategy is especially helpful if a problem involves mapping. Directions: Guide students to complete page 15 according to the instructions below. Getting started: Have students read problem 1. Discuss the questions below one at a time, having students fill in the correct answers on their papers as you write them on the transparency. What are you to find out? (3 things: the number of swimmers competing in all 3 events, the number competing in both the butterfly and backstroke but not the breaststroke, and the number competing in the backstroke only) How many swimmers competed in both the breaststroke and the backstroke only? (3) The butterfly only? (5) The breaststroke only? (6) Both the breaststroke and butterfly, but not the backstroke? (4) How many total swimmers competed in the breaststroke? (14) The butterfly? (17) The backstroke? (12) Would it help to have a diagram that organizes the 3 groups of swimmers? Why? (Yes, a diagram would help show which swimmers competed in each event.) What problem-solving strategy could you use? (draw a picture or diagram) Solving problem 1: Direct students to reread the problem to find the number of swimmers competing in only one event. Guide students to write those numbers in the diagram where no circles intersect. Repeat this process with the number of swimmers competing in only two events. Guide students to write those numbers in the diagram where two circles intersect. Have students read the problem again, this time writing numbers in the diagram s remaining blank sections to make the totals match the clues. Then have students check their work. (One swimmer competed in all 3 events. Seven swimmers competed in both the butterfly and backstroke, but not the breaststroke. One swimmer competed in the backstroke only.) Breaststroke 14 5 Butterfly Backstroke Solving problems 2 and 3: Guide students through a similar procedure to solve the problems together as a class. Or have students solve the problems independently. For problem 2, direct students to draw another Venn diagram of three intersecting circles. For problem 3, have them draw a 3 x 6 grid. (2: Five swimmers won all 3 ribbons. Three swimmers won 1st-place ribbons only. Six won 2nd-place ribbons only.) 3rd 7 1st nd (3: two blocks north) hardware store < < < bank < pool ice-cream store

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