All through the year, my students are given a variety of problem solving scenarios in their Math studies. Word Problems have been interwoven to bring specific application of math strategies into real life settings. This not only requires students to read and solve the problem, but also to justify their solution…Prove it!

‘Prove It!’ in

Whole Brain Teaching is used across the curriculum to encourage higher levels of critical thinking skills. We incorporate

Oral Writing techniques to raise the bar on communication skills. We add in the

Because Clapper to extend the responses beyond simple memorization of facts.

I use the WBT

5 Step Lesson Template to get the foundation of solving a word problem established. The Critical Thinking step of the lesson is based on

Oral Writing and

WBT Writing. Below is a script I used for my class:

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Question: How do I solve a math word problem?

Teacher:

**Class! Class!**
Students:

**Yes! Yes!**
Teacher:

**Today, we are going to learn how to solve a word problem! Today, we are going to learn how to solve a word problem! Tell your partner how extremely excited you are to learn how to solve a word problem! **(Students quickly turn to their partners and share their anticipation to learn how to solve a word problem. Get the Limbic system pumped up right from the start!)

Teacher:

** Class! Class! Chicka Boom Boom, Class!**
Students:

** Yes! Yes! Chicka Boom Boom, Yes!**
Teacher:

** How do I solve a math word problem? How do I solve a math word problem?**
Teacher:

**Mirror Words!**
Students:

**Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

** How do I solve a math word problem?**
Students:

** How do I solve a math word problem?**
Teacher:

** Teach!**
Students:

** Okay!**
Teacher:

** Oh, class!**
Students:

** Oh, yes!**
###
Answer the Question

Teacher:

**Mirror Words!**
Students:

**Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

**To solve word problems in Math, I need to read the problem twice while using lively gestures.** (Use Air Punctuation gestures to note capital letters and punctuation.)

Students: (echo)

**To solve word problems in Math, I need to read the problem twice while using lively gestures. **
Teacher:

**Teach!**
Students:

**Okay!**
Teacher:

**Classity, class!**
Students:

**Yessity, yes!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

** Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

** After I read the word problem two times, I need to follow six steps to solve the problem.**
Students:

** After I read the word problem two times, I need to follow six steps to solve the problem.**
Teacher:

** Tell your partner, ‘You need to follow six steps to solve the problem!’**
Students:

** You have to follow six steps to solve the problem!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

** Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

** Step 1 Circle Key Numbers! Step 1 Circle Key Numbers! **(Gesture: draw a circle up high)

Students:

** Step 1 Circle Key Numbers! Circle Key Numbers! **(Repeat gesture)

Teacher:

** Teach!**
Students:

** Okay!**
Partner 1 rises quickly with hands up and teaches Step 1. Partner 2 mirrors the gestures. Teacher calls out,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Students respond,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Partner 1 quickly sits down and raises hands preparing to Mirror Partner 2, who is quickly standing to teach Step 1!

Teacher:

**Class!**
Students:

**Yes!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

** Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

** Step 2 Underline the question. Underline the Key Words. Step 2 Underline the question. Underline the Key Words. **(Gesture: Sweep hand across to underline for the Question and again for the Key Words.)

Students:

** Step 2 Underline the question. Underline the Key Words. Step 2 Underline the question. Underline the Key Words. ** (Gesture: Sweep hand across to underline for the question and again for the Key Words.)

Teacher:

** (Clap Clap) First two steps! Teach!**
Students:

** (Clap Clap) First two steps! Okay! **
Teacher:

**Oh, Class! Oh, Class!**
Students:

**Oh, Yes! Oh, Yes!**
Teacher:

**Mirror Words!**
Students:

**Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

**Step 3 Determine the Operation! Add Subtract Multiply Divide** **Step 3 Determine the Operation! Add Subtract Multiply Divide** (Use gestures to designate each)

Students:

**Step 3 Determine the Operation! Add Subtract Multiply Divide ****Step 3 Determine the Operation! Add Subtract Multiply Divide** (Use gestures to designate each)

Teacher: (Stomp Stomp)

** First three steps! Teach!**
Students:

** **(Stomp Stomp)

** First three steps! Okay!**
Partner 1 rises quickly with hands up and teaches Steps 1-3. Partner 2 mirrors the gestures. Teacher calls out,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Students respond,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Partner 1 quickly sits down and raises hands preparing to Mirror Partner 2, who is quickly standing to teach Steps 1-3!

Teacher:

**Math! Math! Class!**
Students:

** Math! Math! Yes!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

** Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

** Step 4 Write an equation! Step 4 Write an equation! **(Gesture a pencil writing in the air)

Students:

** Step 4 Write an equation! Step 4 Write an equation! **(Gesture a pencil writing in the air)

Teacher:

** **(Snap fingers twice)

** First four steps! Teach!**
Students: (Snap fingers twice)

** First four steps! Okay!**
Partner 1 rises quickly with hands up and teaches Steps 1-4. Partner 2 mirrors the gestures. Teacher calls out,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Students respond,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Partner 1 quickly sits down and raises hands preparing to Mirror Partner 2, who is quickly standing to teach Steps 1-4!

Teacher:

**Smart! Smart! Class!**
Students:

**Smart! Smart! Yes!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

**Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

**Step 5 Solve the equation! ****Step 5 Solve the equation! **(Gesture pencil writing in the air)

Students:

**Step 5 Solve the equation!** **Step 5 Solve the equation! **(Gesture pencil writing in the air)

Teacher:

**First five steps! Teach!**
Students:

** First five steps! Okay!**
Partner 1 rises quickly with hands up and teaches Steps 1-5. Partner 2 mirrors the gestures. Teacher calls out,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Students respond,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Partner 1 quickly sits down and raises hands preparing to Mirror Partner 2, who is quickly standing to teach Steps 1-5!

Teacher: (Clap Snap)

**Class!** (Clap Snap)

**Class!**
Students: (Clap Snap)

**Yes!** (Clap Snap)

**Yes!**
Teacher:

** Mirror Words!**
Students:

**Mirror Words!**
Teacher:

**Step 6 Prove it!** **Step 6 Prove it! **(Gesture is clap hands together quickly twice)

Students:

**Step 6 Prove it!** **Step 6 Prove it! **(Gesture is clap hands together quickly twice)

Teacher:

**First six steps! Teach!**
Students:

** First six steps! Okay!**
Partner 1 rises quickly with hands up and teaches Steps 1-6. Partner 2 mirrors the gestures. Teacher calls out,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Students respond,

**‘Uh, oh! Switch!’** Partner 1 quickly sits down and raises hands preparing to Mirror Partner 2, who is quickly standing to teach Steps 1-6!

Teacher:

**Class-a-doodle doo!**
Students:

**Yes-a-doodle doo!**
Teacher:

** Give yourselves a Ten Finger Rolling Woooo for learning all the steps to solving Math Word Problems!**
Students:

** Wooooooooo!**
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Explore

** **Using a math word problem preprinted on a student worksheet, work with students to follow the steps below to solve the problem. Use

Mirror Words with gestures to read the printed problem twice before starting Step 1!

Step 1: Circle Key Numbers (KN)

Step 2: Underline Question Underline Key Words (KW)

Step 3: Determine the Operation(s) Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide (write and circle after the question)

Step 4: Write an equation

Step 5: Solve the equation (includes student work, such as student-drawn pictures, used to determine correct answer)

Step 6: Prove It! (Student must write complete sentences explaining/justifying the solution to the problem. Academic language [

College Talk] is a must to receive credit for this step.) I have the example frames below posted on the white board to model the expectation.

Example: My answer makes sense because I___________ and I ___________. Also, I ________________. Therefore, _________________________________.

When a student finishes writing the

Prove It sentences, he then uses the Sockless Puppets (

Brain Toy) to read his sentences out loud to himself. When the majority of students are finished writing, I will call out Class! They respond, Yes! I clap my hands together twice quickly and say, Prove it! They clap twice and say, Okay! Students will then turn and Partner 1 stands quickly to begin proving his answer, while Partner 2 mirrors his gestures. Call out, Uh, oh! Switch! Students respond, Uh, oh! Switch! Partner 2 quickly rises and begins speaking as Partner 1 mirrors him.

Reminder…you should be walking among the students during the Teach-Okay to Praise, Prompt, and Leave! You will be able to quickly informally assess student engagement and progress.

At this point, I may

**Call Out** a student to share their Prove It comments with the class:

Teacher:

**All eyes on Mary!** (I point to Mary with arms outstretched.)

Students:

**All eyes on Mary, Mary, Mary!** (Students are turning and pointing to Mary with arms outstretched.)

Mary

**: Class!** Students:

**Yes!** Mary:

**Mirror words!** Students:

**Mirror Words!** Mary will begin to speak in short phrases to allow students to echo and gesture with her. If Mary has difficulty, she has been taught to say,

**Help me!** The class may call out suggestions to her. When she hears one she likes, she calls the class back with

**Class!** They respond,

**Yes!** She proceeds as before. Upon completion, I will ask the class to give her a Ten finger Wooo!

The Explore step of this lesson will require

**many** examples of word problems for students to become fluent with the process.

**Model! Model! Model!** When you feel the majority of your class is proficient, go to the next step of this lesson.

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Assessment: QT! (Quick Test)

Create a set of True/False statements about the steps to solving word problems. When you call out

QT, students will bury their eyes into their arm on desk and place other hand flat on the desk top. When they agree with your statement, they will raise their thumb up. When they disagree with a statement, they will point their thumb down. Have a student roster handy to note students who answer your statements incorrectly.

Sample Statements:

**1. Read the word problem at least two times before solving the problem. (True)**
**2. The last step to solving a word problem is to circle the Key Numbers. (False)**
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Critical Thinking

Have students explain why the order of the steps to solve a word problem is necessary by using a

Triple Whammy response. Post a sentence frame on the board to encourage participation from all styles of learners.

**Example: **
**You need to solve a word problem using all six steps in order because ________, ________, and ______. First, _______________ because ______________. Second, _______________ because _____________________. Finally, _____________________ because ________________________. In conclusion, you need to solve a word problem using all six steps in order because _______, ________, and __________.**

**(To see an example of a 5 Step WBT Lesson, watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuuBtwMyB4w)**