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Classical method for teaching word problems in math

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    Classical method for teaching word problems in math

    Hello!
    Do you know any book, course, or resource to help with word problem process using a classical, mastery method? I would like to find a resource that provide step- by step guide to approach solving word problems and provide instruction on how to organize the information the child encounters in a math word problem.

    #2
    Hello! What age child do you have in mind?
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2020-2021
    11th year HSing · 9th year MP
    @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
    11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    Comment


      #3
      My eldest has really thrived with the Rod & Staff Arithmetic 1-3 series. I have taken a thorough look at grade 4, and it is a wonderful continuation of the concepts she is learning in Arithmetic 3. They take a very measured approach, especially in the Teacher's Manual, to drill over and over the words used to signify an addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problem. The whole program is a mastery-based math curriculum, and each lesson continues to drill the various words used in those 4 operations (along with examples in each lesson). I also keep a hand-made poster in our classroom of the various words that signify which operation is used.

      I have the shape of a plus sign with the words: both, join, total, all together, increase, plus, connected, sum, combined, add, addition

      I have the shape of a minus sign with the words: decrease, subtract, take away, left, less than, remain, difference, shorter, longer, farther, fewer, how much more/how many more
      Mama to 2

      Summer:
      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
      SY 20/21
      4A

      Comment


        #4
        The classical method for any subject rests on several basic principles, such as the presentation of concepts in a logical progression from simple, to complex, from concrete to abstract, from synthesis (bringing together what is alike) to analysis (breaking something apart into its components). There is an additional commitment to age-appropriateness (that is, doing the right things at the right time) and a realization that there is not time to do every thing; choices must be made for the most valuable pursuits. I am a bit rusty at pulling out this sort of explanation, but those are some key points, nonetheless.

        This is also exactly how the R&S math program is set up. Each step that we do all along the way is there for a reason, but often those reasons do not become apparent for a while. Just last week I was doing long division with my fifth grader and she was having to learn how to use two digit divisors. She struggled at first, but once she saw it a few times she realized she needed to tap into habits we have been doing in oral drills for weeks. There was a wonderful “aha” moment where it all came together.

        Working multi-step problems gets gradually built up too over time. It doesn’t look like it because at first, the steps are separated as differently numbered problems. But then the third or fourth question will pull in data that was previously figured out in those first, second, and third questions. Then once a child can do those with ease, the story problems gradually expect them to do it themselves. Simple to complex.

        R&S really does cover what they need, in an order that makes sense. I know for a fact it was specifically chosen by Cheryl Lowe herself because math was one area she knew had to be done right. After all, she had a degree with honors in Chemistry, a minor in math and history, and a masters in Biology. She wanted her students to know math! And then be able to use it to do science .

        Hang in there! All things come in time!
        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2020-2021
        16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
        DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
        DS, 16
        DD, 14
        DD, 12
        DD, 10
        DD, 8
        DD, 6
        +DS+
        DS, 2

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by enbateau View Post
          They take a very measured approach, especially in the Teacher's Manual, to drill over and over the words used to signify an addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problem. ...

          I have the shape of a plus sign with the words: both, join, total, all together, increase, plus, connected, sum, combined, add, addition

          I have the shape of a minus sign with the words: decrease, subtract, take away, left, less than, remain, difference, shorter, longer, farther, fewer, how much more/how many more
          This is a great point. Word problems/real life problems (whatever one wants to call them) are the fusion of verbal and mathematical skills. I love the word Enbateau used, "the words used to signify" each operation. Truly, that is the difference in being able to step through a word problem:
          • figuring out what you are being asked to do/solve/figure out (verbal/language art skills)***
          • then activating the arithmetical/mathematical skills in the right order to solve it
          • then doing the math correctly and confirming you have a reasonable answer based on what was asked
          I would say the method is 1. learn the math and 2. work word problems along the way that are in harmony with that specific math sequence and skills.

          As Sarah well said, there is a lot of sowing before there is reaping. Generally, if you faithfully follow a trusted and proven math curriculum year by year your student will learn what you desire in this question. This includes doing all the steps they suggest to achieve mastery and not skipping around to different curricula thus creating gaps in sequence. Staying a course is one of your most effective weapons.

          An aside: If you understand theoretically what a question is asking but cannot follow through with the computational ability, then all the verbal and theoretical understanding in the world won't help. This is exactly how I felt this last week helping my son prep for the PSAT. I understood what the questions wanted but am too rusty on the skills to follow through. I might be able to figure it out eventually with what I do know, but not on a timed test!

          ***I think it's important to add that some students may need accommodations here if they have learning differences, especially on the verbal side.
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          2020-2021
          11th year HSing · 9th year MP
          @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
          11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
            Hello! What age child do you have in mind?
            I apologize for my late response, My DD is going Rod and Staff 4th grade and she is 10 years old.

            Comment


              #7
              What's written above by a few of us should be helpful for that age. Please ask more questions if you have them or disagree with things we've suggested. Happy to help and clarify!
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              2020-2021
              11th year HSing · 9th year MP
              @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
              11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you for your responses! They definitely help with my expectations and understanding of the classical method.

                Comment


                  #9
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                  How timely! This is from my fifth grader's lesson today. R&S 5, Lesson 22. P. 99 in the TM.
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2020-2021
                  11th year HSing · 9th year MP
                  @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
                  11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                  Comment

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