## Tuesday, December 23, 2014

### Happy Holidays Everyone!

The Routty Math Teacher will be on hiatus until after the first of the year. Enjoy this time with your family and friends. Have a joyous holiday season!

## Thursday, December 11, 2014

### Problem Solving Palooza Weekly Giveaway #2

**GIVEAWAY!**- The second Problem Solving Palooza giveaway will be a free item from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Check it out- Routty Math Teacher Store.

To enter, leave a comment on this post on my Facebook page telling the Routty Math Teacher community about how you used one of the challenges I posted this week, how you plan to use the challenge in the classroom, or how your students responded to the challenge when you tried it out.

I will accept entries through Sunday at midnight (U.S. Central Time).

I will notify the winner via Facebook on Monday. Good Luck!

Disclosure- This giveaway is not hosted by or affiliated with Facebook.

Labels:
Problem Solving Palooza

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #6

**Grade Level:**This activity is suitable for students in grades 2 - 8

**Objective:**Get the value of each row, column, and diagonal to equal 15

**Task:**

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**

- Where do you start?
- What problem solving strategy can you use to solve this problem?
- Are there certain numbers that must be located in a specific box? If so, which ones? Why?
- Is there more than one solution? If so, what is it?

This magic square can be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options.

**Variation:**Allow students to work with foam numbers or numbers written on sticky notes or index cards so that they can easily manipulate the number placements.

**Learn More:**Have students research how Benjamin Franklin created the magic square.

**Note:**You can download this freebie here.

Labels:
Problem Solving,
Problem Solving Palooza

## Tuesday, December 9, 2014

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #5

**"Water Jars" from Coolmath.com**

Today's challenge is another one of my favorite web games. It's called "Water Jars" from www.coolmath.com. See the screenshot below.

**Grade Level:**This website is more suited to the reasoning skills of upper elementary/ middle school students.

**Objective:**Measure 6 liters of water from a 5-liter jug and a 7-liter jug

**Task:**Fill-up the jars and use them to measure 6 liters of water. The jugs can be emptied, refilled, and transferred to the other container multiple times until the goal is achieved.

For example, if you fill up the 5-liter jug and then pour it into the 7-liter jug, you can refill the 5-liter jug and pour it into the 7-liter jug leaving 3 liters in the 5-liter jug. You've just measured 3 liters.

Students will need to make moves like the one above to measure 6 liters.

Note: This is a challenging task, but it is possible. I've had students master this task in the past!

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**This website is a great way to get your student thinking about how to solve problems such as these. Consider displaying the website to the class and review the directions. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as:

- What is the task asking us to do?
- What special conditions do we need to consider?
- How can we measure different amounts, other than 5 liters or 7 liters, using these two jugs? Let's try to measure 3 liters.
- What's the purpose of being able to fill the jug and transfer it to the other jug?

This applet makes a great fast finisher activity. It can also be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options.

**Variations:**This activity can be simulated in the classroom with actual jugs of water. Set the situation up by saying that you need to measure ____ liters of water but you only have a ____-liter jug and a ____-liter jug. Try using this model to support the students' understanding of the task before using the website for struggling students or younger students.

## Monday, December 8, 2014

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #4

**Grade Level:**This activity is suitable for students in grades 3 - 6.

**Objective:**Determine the amount of chocolate chip and sugar cookies on the plate

**Task:**Use the information given to determine the number of chocolate chip and sugar cookies on the plate. Task A only includes one condition and has multiple solutions. Task B has two conditions and has one solution.

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**This is a great problem solving activity to emphasize identifying key information. Display this on your projector for optimal quality. Provide each student with a printer-friendly copy. Read the problem situation together. If this is your students' first exposure to this type of problem, you may want to help the students determine the objective and identify key information before beginning. Allow students to work with a partner to complete the task. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as:

- What information do you need to help you complete this task?
- What question are you trying to answer?
- What do we know about the chocolate chip cookies?
- What do we know about the sugar cookies?
- How many chocolate chips and sprinkles are on the plate?
- If there was only one chocolate chip and one sugar cookie on the plate, how many chocolate chips and sprinkles would be on the plate?
- What strategy did you use to find a solution? Explain.
- Would drawing a picture help you? If so, how?
- What tool can we use to organize our information?

This activity can be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options.

**Solutions:**

**Task A**: 2 sugar and 9 chocolate chip; 4 sugar and 6 chocolate chip; or 6 sugar and 3 chocolate chip;

**Task B**: 8 sugar and 12 chocolate chip.

**Challenge:**Create an additional problem with a larger number of cookies.

**Note:**You can download this freebie here.

## Saturday, December 6, 2014

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #3

**Grade Level:**This activity is suitable for students in grades 3 - 6. However, second graders should be able to complete the first puzzler.

**Objective:**Determine the mystery number

**Task:**Write down the numbers 0-9. Read each clue. Use the clues to eliminate numbers until the mystery number is found.

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**This is a great starter activity that emphasizes important math terms. Display this on your projector for optimal quality and allow students to determine the mystery number. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as:

- How do you determine what numbers to eliminate with each new clue?
- What is another way to say, "not an odd number"?
- What does it mean to be "more than" or "less than" a number? Is the endpoint included or not included? Explain.
- What does it mean to be between two numbers? Are the endpoints included? Explain.
- What vocabulary do you need to know to eliminate numbers after reading this clue? (indicate a specific clue)

This number puzzler can be
included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station
options.

**Solutions:**Puzzler 1 = 6, Puzzle 2 = 7, Puzzle 3 = 4

**Challenge:**Have students create their own puzzlers. Increase the challenge by giving students the mystery number in advance and having them develop a puzzler to arrive at the mystery number.

**Note:**You can download this freebie here.

## Tuesday, December 2, 2014

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #2

**Holiday Logic**

**Grade Level:**This activity is suitable for students in grades 3 - 5.

**Objective:**Determine the value of each symbol.

**Task:**Each symbol has a numerical value. The sum of each row and column is shown on the outside of the table. Use the clues to determine the value of each symbol.

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**This is a great starter activity. Display this on your projector or give each student a copy and let them go to work. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as:

- Where do you start? Why?
- How do you determine the value of a symbol?
- In what order do you need to determine the value of the symbols?
- In the last column, if you know the value of the elf and the gift box, how can you find the value of the cupcake?
- What problem solving strategy did you use?

You may also want to consider allowing younger students to work in pairs to approach this task and then discuss ways to approach the task together.

This logic puzzle makes a great fast finisher activity. It can also be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options.

**Solution:**Santa hat (7), sugar cookie (5), cupcake (6), elf (8), gift box (9)

**Challenge:**Have students create their own puzzles with stickers, basic shapes, or letters.

**Note:**You can download this freebie, including a printer-friendly version, here.

## Monday, December 1, 2014

### Problem Solving in Santa's Workshop

Check out my new "Problem Solving in Santa's Workshop Pack." You can read a product description and see sample pages at http://bit.ly/FBSantasWorkshop.

Through December 3rd, you can grab it for $4. Teachers Pay Teachers is offering an additional 10% discount through tomorrow, December 2nd. Check it out!

Through December 3rd, you can grab it for $4. Teachers Pay Teachers is offering an additional 10% discount through tomorrow, December 2nd. Check it out!

### Problem Solving Palooza- Challenge #1

**"Bridge Crossing" from Coolmath.com**

Today's challenge is one of my favorite web games. It's called "Bridge Crossing" from www.coolmath.com. See the screenshot below.

**Grade Level:**This website is more suited to the reasoning skills of upper elementary/ middle school students. (See variations below for lower elementary challenges.)

**Objective:**Help all of the characters cross the bridge.

**Task:**Only two characters can cross the bridge at the same time. The lantern must be used when the characters cross the bridge. Each character shows how many minutes it takes him/her to cross the bridge. The lantern will lasts for 30 minutes; that's how long the characters have to cross the bridge because they cannot cross the bridge in the dark.

Note: This is a challenging task, but it is possible. I've had students master this task in the past!

**Ways to Utilize the Activity:**This website is a great way to get your student thinking about how to solve problems such as these. Consider displaying the website to the class and review the directions. Then, as a class, discuss ways to approach the task. Ask questions such as:

- What is the task asking us to do?
- What special conditions do we need to consider?
- Which characters take the shortest time to cross the bridge?
- Which characters take the longest time to cross the bridge?
- How can we pair the characters together so that we use the shortest time possible?
- Which character can be easily used to travel back and forth across the bridge?

You may also want to consider allowing students to work in pairs to approach the task and discuss ways to meet the goal together.

This applet makes a great fast finisher activity. It can also be included on a math menu or used on a menu of problem solving station options.

**Variations:**The two websites below are more suited for younger elementary students. They are similar to the challenge above but include special conditions, such as a small penguin cannot be left alone on a side with an unrelated adult penguin. The special conditions add an additional element of challenge, but the tasks are easier than the "Bridge Crossing" task.

### Problem Solving Palooza Relaunch!

**Problem Solving Palooza Relaunch!**

Welcome to my new blog series "Problem Solving Palooza!" This series will offer ideas and strategies for integrating problem solving into your everyday mathematics curriculum. Each post of the series will include a daily challenge with tips and tricks for using the activity in the classroom.

Each week, I will host a Facebook giveaway. I will create a post asking how you used one of the problem solving activities in your classroom. Respond to my post with how you used the activity or something cool that happened when your students interacted with the activity. I will use Rafflecopter to select a winner. The winner will receive a free item from my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Good luck and thanks for reading!

Labels:
Problem Solving Palooza

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