Monday, December 2, 2019

Leveraging Seesaw for Problem Solving

“Problem solving is for students to dig deeper into their thinking about math. They take the problem and break it down. The most important piece of problem solving is getting the students to talk about it using mathematical vocabulary and getting them to explain and justify how they worked the problem and how they arrived at the answer. Sometimes there is no defined right or wrong answer. It is more for them to explain to me how they got their answer.” -Mrs. Mancino.
At Haslet Elementary, Mrs. Mancino’s 2nd grade classroom uses Seesaw to leverage their problem solving in Math. It is truly unbelievable how quickly her students have picked up use of the Chromebook in the classroom. She did not return to the classroom from maternity leave until the second week of October. Before her return, the students did not do many activities on the Chromebook and did not use Seesaw at all. They started problem solving on Seesaw the last week of October. They now use Seesaw daily and have started learning to use Google Classroom, Google Sites, Google Slides, and Adobe Spark.
In their math journal, students explain step by step what they did to solve the problem. They write out the equation and the solution, take a picture of their work on Seesaw,  then use the record button to explain their thinking.

An example of a multi-step addition and subtraction problem. The students have to start by breaking the problem down into 4 squares (I know, I need to know, equation, and solution). They know Ava and Shelby say 42 geese. They also know when they got to the top of the hill they saw 25 more geese. Lastly, they know 15 flew away. The students then have to figure out what question they are trying to answer. They need to know how many geese were left after 15 flew away. 
Seesaw activities are another way they problem solve. The question is asking the students to find the quadrilateral with all sides a different length. Mrs. Mancino teaches her  students to connect the dots using different colors so they are better able to see how many sides each shape has well as how long each side is. By using different colors for each answer, it helps them learn to do this for similar questions later on. They used different colored pens to draw the shapes, then they had to record their justification of why they chose the answer they did.
The power of problem solving and having an authentic audience can change the way your kids look at their work! Seesaw has allowed these students to work hard, share their accomplishments with their peers and family members. Talk about motivation!

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