I was inspired by this post I read the other day about numberless word problems. I want to try it out with my middle schoolers, but until I find the time to do that, I thought I’d jump in and try it out with my fifth-graders in after school. It was highly engaging for them. I split my 10 students into two groups (I was the last teacher in picking up tech, which meant I didn’t have enough for my whole group). With two groups, I could just switch them out so all the students could get some time in on the program they have to use each day. The other students and I talked about the word problems. I started off by asking them what they thought the question was and then asking them what the answers to those questions could be. This gave us some great opportunities to think about what the words “several”, “many”, “some”, “couple” and “few” meant and in one group we thought carefully about the working through a problem backwards given one piece of information and still making sure the other parts would be reasonable and realistic.
This gave me some great thoughts for when I do this with the sixth-graders.