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Problem Solving Process

• Mathematical Process Standards: (1B) The student is
expected to use a problem solving model that
incorporates, analyzing given information, formulating
a plan or strategy, determining a solution, justifying
the solution, and evaluating the problem solving
process and the reasonableness of the solution
• Changes in State Assessment with increased rigor
on STAAR

• Increase Student Thinking and Understanding of
Math Vocabulary
• Usd Marzano’s Work on Classroom Strategies to
Develop Process
– Research on Summarizing & Note taking
– Research on Feedback
– Research on Non-linguistic Representations
– Research on Advance Organizers

Why Unit Bars?
Texas curriculum has increased in
difficulty. It requires:
• Application of concepts
• Deep understanding of concepts
• Knowledge of academic language

Why Unit Bars?
What does increased difficulty look like?
• Use of concepts in worded problems
• Use of multiple concepts in worded problems
• Connection among different representations of
concepts
• Use of mathematics vocabulary
• Explanation and descriptions of mathematics in
words

Why Unit Bars?
• No successful strategy for helping students
solve multi-operation problems
– Connected words in the story to actions:



put-together,
take away,
compare, and
missing part

– Students often only identified one operation
– Students matched the operations to the incorrect
numbers; ie., 12 – 5 + 3

Model Drawing Procedure
• Developed in Singapore
• Visual representation of details with
actions which assists children with
problem solving
• Helps children logically think using
visual models to determine the
computations

Model Drawing Procedure
• Teaches the importance of language
within math problems

• Supports all ability levels within the
classroom
• Provides for differentiated instruction

Points to Remember
• Some problems have extra information.
• Some problems may not have both “Who”
and “What.”
• Main idea often helps with the “who” and
“what.”

Research Says…
• Summarizing and Note Taking
increases student achievement
by 34 percentile points.

• Providing Feedback to students
results in a 29 percentile point
gain.
Classroom Instruction That Works
Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock

Research Says…
• Using Non-linguistic Representations
can increase student achievement by
27 percentile points

• Using Advance Organizers results in a
22 percent increase in student
achievement.
Classroom Instruction That Works
Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock

Four-Step Process
Step 1
• Main Idea of Question
•Does the student know
what they are trying to
find?
•Frequently, errors in
reading comprehension
are identified here.

Step 3
•Strategy
•Can the student identify the
strategy to solve the problem
and show their work?

Step 2
• Details/Known
•What information is given to me
that I need to solve the problem?
•What do I know as a student to
help me solve the problem?
•Use Model Drawing when needed

Step 4
• How/Justify
•Can the student not only find the
answer to the problem…but
explain or justify what was done?

1.

2.

3.
4.

Four-Step Process



Main Idea

Read the problem.
Summarize in a few words what you are trying to find.
(Find . . .)

Details/Known

Re-read the problem to

 Identify the details related to the main idea in the question.
 Record the details.
 Connect and record prior knowledge

Strategy

Select a strategy and solve the problem.

How/Why

Describe/justify how the problem was solved.

1. Which of the following has 2 more
edges than vertices?
E - 12
12
V-8
-8
4
6
E-6
-4
V-4
2

Step 1
Find shape with 2
more edges than
vertices

9
-6
3

E-9
V-6

E- 8
V-5

8
-5
4

Step 2
edges – lines

vertices -

Step 3
(shown above)

Step 4
-Labeled edges and vertices
-Subtracted vertices from
edges to find 2 more
-I counted up from 4 to 6.

Sally watched TV from 4:45 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. How long
did Sally spend watching TV?
Step 1

Step 2

Find how long
watched TV?

Start – 4:45
End – 7:00

Step 3
S

E
?

E
Found elapsed time
using a time line

6:55

6:50

6:45

5:45

4:45

Step 4

7:00

Used a time line to
find how long

ACTIONS vs Clue Words
Put together
Take Away
Compare
Missing part

In all
Each
Spent
How many more

• Action cards are visual clues to help students
become proficient in identifying the action in word
problems.
• Actions stress conceptual development rather
than the memorization of key/clue words.
– Clue words fail to teach for understanding.

EIGHT ACTIONS
– Put Together
– Take Away
– Comparing
– Missing part
– Put Together Equal Sets
– Arrange in Rows and Columns
– Share a Set Equally
– Take Away Equal Sets

Put Together

Addition

Take Away

Subtraction

Compare

Subtraction

Missing Part

Subtraction

Putting Together Equal Sets

Multiplication

Arrange in Rows or Columns

Multiplication

Taking Away Equal Sets

…?
Division

Share a Set Equally

Division

MODEL DRAWING
• Improves comprehension through visualization of math
concepts
– Read a sentence, adjust, and label the model

• Builds the foundation for algebra
• Reference is made in the new process TEKS: 1B, 1C, 1D,
1E, 1F

IMPROVING MATH
COMPREHENSION
Helps all students
• Improves student pass rates
• Improves student advanced
rates

CHARACTERISTICS OF
MODEL DRAWING
• Identifies Who and/or What
• Uses a specific type of picture: unit bar

• Uses a ? on the unit bar
• Read one sentence, adjust, and label the
unit bars (Speed bumps can be a helpful
tool.)

USE MODEL DRAWING IN THE
FOUR-STEP PROCESS
Step 1: Main Idea
•Main Idea of Question
•What are we trying to
find?
•Summarize in a few
words

Step 3: Strategy
• Look at the model drawing to
determine the action.
• Work the computation

Step 2: Details/Known

Who What Unit Bars
Read one sentence at a
time to adjust unit bars.
Place ?

Step 4: How/Why
•Can the student not only find the
answer to the problem…but explain or
justify what was done?

MODEL DRAWING: TWO
CHUNKS

1. Who, What, Unit
Bar
2. Read, Adjust, Label

Record the Main Idea and Details/Known
Mrs. Sloan
baked 18
cookies, 5 pies,
and 17 cakes.
How many
cakes and
cookies did
Mrs. Sloan
bake?

Cookies and
cakes M S bake

Mrs. S Co
ca

Record the Main Idea and Details
Corey bought a box of
15 pens. He took 3 of
them to school and
put 4 in a desk at
home. He left the
rest of the pens in
the box. How many
pens are in Corey’s
box?

pens
in box

Corey pens

Record the Main Idea and Details
Michael was reading a
265 page book. The
first day of vacation he
read 88 pages, the
second day he read 102
pages, and on the third
day he finished the book.
How many pages did
Michael read on the
third day?

pages read 3rd
day

M

bk pages

John wanted to buy a bicycle that cost $285 and a helmet that cost $39. He
was able to get $19 taken off the price of the bicycle because he used a
coupon from the newspaper. With the coupon, how much did the bicycle cost
John not including tax?
Step 1
Bicycle cost

Step 2
John bicycle money

Characteristics of Model Drawing
Chunk One:
• Identifies Who and/or What
• Uses a specific type of picture: unit bar
Chunk Two:

• Read one sentence, label, and adjust
the unit bars
• Uses a ? on the unit bar

Read, Adjust and Label
24

• Label the unit bar

24

ξ

• Show a smaller quantity(#)
• Show a larger quantity (#)
24
15
15

?
?

• Label the question with a ? on
the model

Read, Adjust and Label
24
15

]
ξξ

?

?

24

15

• Putting together 24 and 15

Read, Adjust and Label

|

]

8

•Take away 8 from 24

24

?

24

16

•Compare 24 and 16
ξ
?

Read, Adjust and Label
8

8
1

8

2

8

• Total in Multiplication

5

4

3

8

?
?

6 6 6
Bag Bag Bag
1

2

3

Bag
16

• Multiplying Large
Number of Groups

Chunk Two: Read, Adjust, and Label

Mrs. Sloan baked 18
cookies, 5 pies,
and 17 cakes.
How many cakes
and cookies did
Mrs. Sloan bake?

Co and ca M S
bake

Ms S Co
ca

18
17

]

?

ξ

Chunk Two: Read, Adjust, and Label
Corey bought a box of
15 pens. He took 3 of
them to school and
put 4 in a desk at
home. He left the
rest of the pens in
the box. How many
pens are in Corey’s
box?

pens
in box

Corey pens

Chunk Two: Read, Adjust, and Label
Michael was reading
a 265 page book. The
first day of vacation he
read 88 pages, the
second day he read 102
pages, and on the third
day he finished the
book.
How many pages does
Michael need to read on
the third day to finish
the book?

265

pages read 3rd M bk pages
day

88 102

?

D1

D3

D2

Points to Remember
• Read, adjust and label-one sentence at a time.
• Break long sentences into parts—and or commas help with
places to break.
• If there is more than one number given in a sentence, adjust the
model one number at a time.
• To show “take away”, mark off the appropriate units and draw .
• Don’t get distracted with extra information. Focus on what the
question is asking.
• Placing the ? on the model, keeps students from answering the
wrong question.
• In the drawing, list the variables (who, what, unit bar) in the order
that each appears in the story.
• The computation is the differentiated part of the lesson. The
model looks similar for all students, but the way they achieve
success with computation is differentiated.

Benefits of Model Drawing
• Fosters quantitative reasoning (number
sense).
• Empowers students to think
systematically.
• Deepens students understanding of
difficult concepts.
• Makes multi-step and multi-concept
problems easy to work.

Benefits of Model Drawing
• Improves comprehension through
visualization of math concepts
– Read a sentence, label, and adjust the model

• Builds the foundation for algebra
• Proven procedure with documented
success

Benefits of Model Drawing
• Provides a record of student thinking which
teachers can use to help diagnose errors in
student thinking.
• Allows students to see connections between the
model drawing representation, the number
sentence representation, and the language
representation.
– Using the model drawing, students can write multiple number
sentences.
– Using the model drawing, students can write multiple process
statements.