Teaching Writing and Challenging Math Problems
This year has been a huge struggle for me with writing in Math. Students still want to do as little writing or explanation as possible. I have tried to model how to attack multiple step word problems and the type of detail explanation that is needed to complete them. I think students are still stuck on the single or two step process of problem solving. Unfortunately, in the age of PARCC, the 6th grade math curriculum has been changed greatly. What I taught in 6th grade two years ago is no where near to what kids are expected to do. Kids must be able to navigate word problems that involve 5 or 6 steps with multiple concepts in the same problem. Also, the skills of the math students that are entering 6th grade are very wide. Many of the Robert's kids tend to be more prepared for 6th grade than students that are coming from other schools that may be less rigorous and lower performing. I have literally lost my mind trying to figure out ways to make concepts more understandable. I also struggle with trying to support students that are several years below level and students that are advanced. Students are also struggling with the concept of struggling. They want the quick fix and don't want to keep trying to figure out the problem. They give up easily. What strategies do you use?