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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Independent Practice with Problem Solving Task Cards

Do you get the Sunday TpT newsletter each week? Well this week they have a blog post all about task cards. Yep, task cards for every season, topic, grade name it. It doesn't matter what you teach, there are task cards available for you. So I thought I would chime in on my favorite way to use task cards.

My classroom is filled with problem solving. One of my math centers is problem solving and another is a math exchange where we problem solve. While I love both of these centers, neither allows for a lot of problems to be solved. My problem solving center requires students to solve difficult, multi-step problems, but they only have time for one in a day. I love that it requires mathematical stamina to keep at one task for 30 minutes, but they don't get to solve lots of problems. At math exchange, we all solve a problem or two,  but most of our time is spent in math talk. We discuss various problem solving strategies and share our own methods. We even give new methods a try, but once again, it's at most a problem or two.

So to really give my students a lot of problem solving time, I started making problem solving task cards.  I wanted to be sure my students were solving lots of different types of problems, so I used all 14 types of problems from Cognitively Guided Math. (If you haven't read Children's Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction I highly recommend it.) I put these cards in my partner work math center along with a page to record their answers. This has been a great way to get a lot of problem solving practice in. And I'm using the same word problems that I use in math exchange so it's easier for my emerging readers to focus on the math rather than the reading in this task. You can grab my Leprechauns, Shamrocks and Gold Task Cards for free. I know, I know the season is wrong. But it's the free set I made last March. Grab them now, take a look at them and see if problem solving task cards are right for you. They come with numbers up to 20 and numbers up to 100.

This card is from the set with numbers up to 20.
Student record sheet included in both sets.


Looking for other themes? I have 13 more sets in a variety of themes.  They are available individually and in bundles for added savings.


Happy problem solving!

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