Problem Solving Activities For High School

Problem Solving Activities For High School-68
Students have found that brands may shape their soup can in a way that doesn't minimize the amount of tin, but might maximize revenue for the company.

—Ryan Lester, instructional coach, Hmong College Prep Academy, Saint Paul, Minnesota As a class we compile a list of problems within our school and greater community.

We then categorize them by type of problem (environmental, social, etc.) to understand the possible effects on the community.

Partner 1 will then "teach" Partner 2's problem back to them—remember, Partner 2 knows the answer and how to solve, but they are attentively listening to Partner 1 "teach." After Partner 1 finishes teaching, Partner 2 gives respectful and helpful feedback. —Hunter Dansby, principal resident, former high school math teacher, Duplin County Schools, Warsaw, North Carolina One. Other activities that year included STEM tasks, building props for a performance, group research projects, and more.

Although there were ups and downs, it wasn't just about academics for our class.

In 5–8 minutes, each student independently creates their own exemplar problem (typically a word problem) that matches the standard they've been learning.

Each student must also have the answer to their created problem, along with the steps they would expect one to take to solve it. As part of an action research project, I assigned my class of second graders to remain with the same group of tablemates for an entire school year.Given an actual sample of soup cans, students work in groups, using string, rulers, graphing software (Desmos), and derivatives to generate a solution to support their claim.Student groups come up with different results, using concepts from economics, health, and marketing principles to defend their solutions.—John Kerrigan, K–12 director of mathematics & mathematics adjunct, Middletown Township Public Schools & Rutgers University, Middletown, New Jersey Students applying elements of argument were given the challenge of presenting a convincing logical argument to support a specific claim regarding a social issue.The revisions to the written argument required student partners to transfer the evidence into a 120-second multimodal format for a virtual audience.—Carol Bruzzano, professor-in-residence, adjunct writing instructor, Montclair State University and William Paterson University, North Arlington, New Jersey Too many times with word problems in math, students read the questions and jump right into solving (see "How old is the Shepherd" by Robert Kaplinsky on You Tube.To slow students down and get them thinking about the problem, I remove the question from the word problem.We snapped photos to use in green-screen app-smashing later.Nothing was off-limits, if it supported their imagined story problems.Students searched, selected, and taught themselves new internet applications for this task and shared their final products on Instagram and Twitter.Along with learning new web-based applications, students clearly demonstrated a deeper understanding of audience awareness, conciseness and clarity in communication, the power of collaboration for meeting common goals, and the use of audios and visuals in arguments.


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