Monday, May 26, 2014

Real Life Problems

What happens when math people get together for dinner?  We see dinner as a series of real-life problem solving!  First, I'll give you the problem--division of a fraction by a fraction.  It's often hard to think of real-life examples of this type of problem.  This problem is a good one to solve concretely (with manipulatives) or pictorially (with model drawing.)  An added bonus;;; This no-bake pie is a refreshing summer dessert!  

Lemonade Ice Cream Pie

Sharon wants to make a Lemonade Ice Cream Pie. The recipe calls for ½ gallon of ice cream, but when she gets to the store, she finds that ice cream containers now come in only 1.5 quart containers.  How many containers does she need to buy, and how much does she need to use, to make the pie?

Recipe for Lemonade Ice Cream Pie

2 Oreo-cookie pie crusts
1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream, softened 
1 container (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate (either pink or regular), completely thawed
Chocolate sauce

Using a mixing spoon or a whisk, combine the ice cream and lemonade. Pour into the pie crusts. Freeze overnight. Drizzle with chocolate sauce before serving.

Notes: It seems to be fine to let the ice cream get almost liquid, which makes it a cinch to mix. And you can thaw the lemonade right in the can; just open it when you can squish the can.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Is it Enough?

I've been so busy that I haven't sat down to blog more about my trip to Singapore.  It's coming, I promise.  Another experience that had quite an impact on me was teacher response to student work.  In every class, we watched students work in happy, noisy groups.  It was rare we saw a student off-task.  (Honestly, I can't think of a time we saw someone goofing off, but there must have been one!!)

When students thought they completed their work and approached the teacher, we never heard them ask if the answer was correct.  Instead, the more common question was, "Is this enough?"  In one class, we watched a group of boys given a very challenging problem.  Three times they approached the teacher to ask, "Is this enough?"

Each time, the teacher looked at them and responded, "It it enough?"

After the third time, one of the boys looked at his partners and said, "If the teacher asks 'is it enough,' it isn't enough."

How can we get our students to focus on the process, not the product?  Isn't that what the NCTM Math Practices and CCSS are asking us to do?   Enjoy these examples of journals from Primary 2 (second grade) journals.  I think they show enough!