Monday, August 05, 2013

Solve It Your Way....then share it with the world

Today, please take a minute to visit Solve It Your Way!  and think about joining us this year as we celebrate all of the ways we solve problems. As an elementary classroom teacher, I've been facilitating math and science problem solving for as long as I can remember. The power of student learning has always been most evident during the share sessions--when students shared their thinking and their learning about the process of problem solving.

Early on in my science teaching, I found that my students were just going through the motions of science. So many "activities" took kids through the steps of answering a question but took all the mess and fun out of problem solving. So often the mess figuring out how to solve the problem, how to collect data and how to organize data was all part of a predetermined template. I learned early in my teaching career that if I took those templates away, kids created things well beyond what I could have imagined and became amazing scientists and mathematicians.

This year, I decided it would be fun to grow our classroom activity a bit and invite others into the rich conversations we will hopefully have. On the first day of each month, I'll post a new question at SOLVE IT YOUR WAY!. It will be a science/math question with lots of ways in for elementary students who are interested in some fun problem solving at home or in the classroom. You can share student work by linking to the post before the next question is posted. You can include individual student work, classroom charts, tables, graphs, photos, videos, slideshows...anything that comes from the problem solving. Checking back periodically, you can see how others outside of your classroom are approaching the problems.

 There is more information on the blog. And our August question is already posted! Please take a minute to visit the site and think about how your students might join in the conversation this year!

 You can also follow us on Twitter! @solveityourway

15 comments:

  1. Woohoo! I'm so excited about this. Thanks for providing another resource for us to encourage thinking and collaboration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it! Thanks for your feedback:-)

      Delete
  2. The project sounds really fun! Happy to join in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good-glad you'll join in!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for a great idea, Franki! I'm already thinking…

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good--it will be fun to pull all of our thinking together!

      Delete
  4. You are so right in that kids can create much better things than the template allows! Will these problem solving opportunities be appropriate for first grade? Tweeting this to @eScott818 4th grade, he will love this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think they'll be pretty open ended and can work with any age. I think that will be part of the fun.

      Delete
  5. Yep, I'm pretty excited about this...just sent it out to my teacher buds. Thank you so much for organizing this! It will be amazing to see what classrooms all across the country do with this project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm excited too--should be fun!

      Delete
  6. What an excellent idea! Thanks so much - my students and I will be all about this when school starts!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great idea. I can't wait to share this with my students and with my teacher peeps.

    ReplyDelete
  8. As I read Connecting Comprehension and Technology, my wheels are spinning! I already came up with a new idea to foster small group problem solving with the idea of research teams. Each group will be a group of three assigned a computer/space they collect tools, to work. They will engage in problem solving together related to any questions they have about learning. This is the perfect context for them! Solve it your way! I can't wait to see how this goes!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great idea Franki! I'm looking for ways to connect my fourth graders with others outside our classroom walls and this fits perfectly. We'll be joining in. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ok...we are SO in! Can't wait to dig in!

    ReplyDelete

We welcome your contribution to the conversation!