I teach 2nd grade at Anna Yates School in Emeryville, CA. I have been teaching six years. I got involved with the Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative several years ago, when my mathematics coach invited me to attend a summer mathematics institute. This initial experience connected to the challenges I had been having with curriculum as well as how to teach these concepts so that my students could understand them.
In the lesson documented here, I hope other teachers will take away how important it is to give students an opportunity to explore errors and strategies, to find how their own answers align with the words in the original problem. I want my students to find an answer that corresponds to the problem.
In this lesson, the students and I are working on understanding the language of word problems, using the specific words as clues to the mathematical operations embedded in the problem. I use examples of student work to uncover misconceptions and errors and help support the students in developing the ability to critically evaluate their own strategies.