Elementary Math Problem Solving
GPISD Elementary Math Problem Solving Plan
In GPISD students in grades PK-5 engage in rigorous, purposeful problem-solving every day for at least 15 minutes in their math classrooms. Math classroom environments are designed to support and encourage analyzing real life problem situations, planning, using strategies, creating and using representations, solving, explaining processes used, and justifying and evaluating solutions for reasonableness. Students are taught and expected to communicate their mathematical thinking using academic math language.
PK-K classrooms have floor sized problem solving graphic organizers so that students may gather around the mat to work out the problems, acting them out and/or representing with manipulatives and pictorial representations. The mats are made out of a wipe-off material so that the teacher can record the students' thinking. Grade 1 classrooms have poster-sized wipe-off mats serving the same purpose. The ultimate purpose of the graphic organizer is to provide the students as they progress through their math education with a visual mapping that they are able to recall and use as they encounter rigorous problems. The completed graphic organizers are not designed to be the end-means of this process. The higher-level thinking that the mat helps to guide is the desired outcome.