ERIC Number: EJ902165
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Reference Count: 8
Building Word Problems: What Does It Take?
Barlow, Angela T.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v17 n3 p140-148 Oct 2010
"The World Is Flat" (Friedman 2005) describes the globalization that advances in technology have imposed on the world economy in recent decades. For the U.S. to maintain its stature in the world, future citizens must be prepared to problem solve and apply their skills to new situations. These future citizens are sitting in elementary school classrooms today. The skill of creating meaningful, effective mathematical word problems is more than an important teacher skill; it is an essential teacher skill for preparing students to function in this flat world. Frameworks exist for solving problems as well as for judging the quality of problems. However, no established frameworks are currently available to describe the process of creating problems. This article discusses a problem-creating framework which consists of five basic steps: (1) Identify the mathematical goals; (2) Decide on a problem context; (3) Create the problem; (4) Anticipate students' solutions; and (5) Implement and reflect on the problem. With the aid of the framework and a little practice, teacher candidates and practicing teachers can become proficient at designing high-quality problems--an essential skill for effectively instructing competent problem solvers in this rapidly advancing flat world. (Contains 6 figures.)
Descriptors: Problem Solving, Teaching Methods, Word Problems (Mathematics), Mathematics Instruction, Mathematical Concepts, Elementary School Mathematics
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A