Beacon Lesson Plan Library
The Real Problem of the Week
Christy Clanton Bay District Schools
Description
Problem of the Week engages students in an integrated, ongoing awareness of the current events affecting our daily lives as reported in our local newspaper while working mathematical word problems.
Objectives
The student selects the appropriate operation to solve specific problems involving addition, subtraction, and multiplication of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, and division of whole numbers.
The student adds, subtracts, and multiplies whole numbers, decimals, and fractions, including mixed numbers, and divides whole numbers to solve realworld problems, using appropriate methods of computing, such as mental mathematics, paper and pencil, and calculator.
Materials
Multiple copies of local newspapers
Encarta or other reference software loaded on computers
Small postit notes
Graph of the Day bulletin board
Problem of the Week bulletin board
Overhead or whiteboard to post teachergenerated word problem
Read/Think, Solve, Explain problemsolving chart
Problem of the Week scoring rubric
Preparations
1. Load Encarta or other reference software on computers, so that students have quick access when researching.
2. Lay out newspapers and postit notes on team tables.
3. Write the Graph of the Day question on overhead or whiteboard: What is the most interesting Problem of the Week?
4. Create two bulletin board areas: Problem of the Week and Graph of the Day
5. Skim the newspaper to locate a problem of interest to use in creating a math word problem based upon a gradeappropriate mathematical skill.
6. Post Read/Think, Solve, Explain problemsolving chart.
7. Have multiple copies of Problem of the Week scoring rubrics available for student use.
Procedures
1. Our class receives multiple copies of our local newspaper on Monday mornings. Each team has a copy to use at the team table. Students browse the newspaper as part of their entertheroom morning challenge.
2. As part of our Brain Training session, students use small postit notes to indicate their personal response to the question: What is the most interesting Problem of the Week?
3. The postit notes are then categorized to create a graph displaying our problem selections. The results are posted as our Graph of the Day.
4. Students are then assigned to Problem of the Week research groups based upon their individual selections. Each group then utilizes reference software (Encarta) gather information about the problem that they chose (geographical location, definitions of unfamiliar words, etc.). They chart and display their information for the class to read on our Problem of the Week bulletin board. Then they write word problems for the class to solve.
5. As the teacher, I select a news story problem as well. My underlying purpose is to develop a teachergenerated word problem to give to the class to solve based upon data that can be found in the news story I chose. The word problem becomes our Problem of the Week Math Challenge during a Brain Training lesson.
6. Student teams calculate their answer predictions and write up their problems in the Read/Think, Solve, Explain format.
7. Team leaders report their team results to the class. Problem solving strategies are shared.
8. Teams use our Problem of the Week scoring rubric to selfevaluate their team's work.
Assessments
Students use Problem of the Week scoring rubric to selfevaluate their team's work.
Attached Files
Problem of the Week Assessment File Extension: pdf
