Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Using Math Practice #1 - Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them

Math Practice #1 is, as Rena Sabey puts it..."Math Sweat."  The title of the practice really says everything about it.  Students are able to approach rigorous problems in a logical systematic way to help them sustain and reach a conclusion.

If a student is proficient in Math Practice #1 they can:

  • Explain the meaning of the problem.
  • Find entry points to the problem.
  • Plan a solution.
  • Compare this situation to other similar problems they may have solved in the past.
  • Keep track of their progress towards the solution.
  • Determine if their method was the most effective.
This poster was made a few years back by teachers in the district.  It sums it up pretty well.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt put out this guide to prompting students towards MP #1 in 2012.  It helps to facilitate questioning without giving the answer away.
  • What is the problem asking?

    • How will you use that information?
    • What other information do you need?
    • Why did you choose that operation?
    • What is another way to solve that problem?
    • What did you do first? Why?
    • What can you do if you don’t know how to solve a problem?
    • Have you solved a problem similar to this one?
    • When did you realize your first method would not work for this problem?
    • How do you know your answer makes sense?

    In the blog replies below, feel free to share how you are using MP #3 so we can all grow and learn together.