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Open-Ended Math Problems

By Gwenn Holtz and Mary Lee Malen
This site is for the specific purpose of preparing Middle School students for OPEN-ENDED problem solving on is divided into five strands:
  • Number Theory
  • Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Patterns, Algebra, and Functions
  • Data, Statistics, and Probability
There are three levels of difficulty for each standard with problems from different sources that lend themselves to more than one way of solving. To better prepare for the tests, students should answer with a picture, diagram, or paragraph explaining the solution and how they determined their answers.


Published by The Franklin Institute

• Click here for this Web Site
Curriculum Information For Resource

Snapshot
Grade Level(s):6, 7, 8
Curriculum Areas:Mathematics
Themes/Keywords: Analysis
Word Problems


Essential Question(s)
1. It's important for students to track their reasoning while solving problems. How do you teach reasoning? How can you convince your students that the process is often more valuable than the answer?

Discussion Question(s)
1. How can you best prepare your middle school students for high school math?
2. Middle school students often look for shortcuts. Are there shortcuts in solving word problems?

Extension and Activities
1. Begin the year with September problems and follow the process for four weeks. Do you see an improvement in the way your students solve problems? Do your students see value in how they have been solving problems and will they like to continue? Do you agree?


"I am in the process of converting my moodle and portal webpages that I use in Pinellas County to my eCoach websites. I have decided to break my websites up into units instead of courses, because I keep getting switched around from various grade levels and content areas (Reading vs. Language Arts) - But I don’t want to lose my lessons. For example I currently teach 7th grade reading and we do a unit on Egypt, but two years ago I taught 6th grade and we also touched on Egypt. I want my resources to be middle school level and fluid enough for me to adapt to whatever grade I’m teaching. It will take some time, but I think it will help out in the long run. Thanks again for eCoach!! I Love It!!"

Heather Rudolph
7th Grade Teacher
Pinellas County Schools, Florida






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