Math Process Logs
- Identify or write a relatively challenging word problem that you want students to solve.
- Create a Math Process Log for the problem. The worksheet should include the problem at the top, then a “special challenge” question or task that logically extends one step beyond the basic problem, and then lists the following questions, with space for student answers:
- What is the problem asking, in your own words?
- What important information is provided?
- How many steps are involved in this problem?
- What math operations will you use?
- Will you diagram or graph anything? If so, what?
- Does the problem have any special difficulties, or things to watch out for?
- What should you do first?
- Then what?
- Then what?
- What will you do to check your work?
- How will you know if the answer is correct?
- How will you answer the special challenge?
- If this activity is new, prepare at least one extra problem and log to model to students.
- You should adapt the questions as you see fit.
Teacher introduces worksheet, and leads students in a discussion about the benefits of expressive thinking while solving math problems.
Help students to identify how expressing their thoughts during problem solving can help to clarify their thinking.
Teacher models solving a sample problem using a Math Process Log.
Think aloud about your process as you model.
Teacher distributes target word problem and worksheets to students. They prepare to work individually or in small groups.
You may want to assign pairs based on student ability and affinity.
Students carefully read the word problem.
You may want to recommend that students read the problem aloud, and that they read it at least twice.