Problem Solving Structures Framework: Join, Separate, Part-Part-Whole, and Compare
Problem solving requires students to apply mathematical concepts, skills and the relationships among them to solve problem situations with varying difficulties. Primary students need to be able to solve additive situation problems. This framework can assist students by helping them approach problem solving systemically. Additive problem solving situations include addition and subtraction problems solving structures. The four structures are Join, Separate, Part-Part-Whole, and Compare. Join and Separate structures involve actions that increase or decrease a quantity. The Part-Part-Whole structure does not use an action and has a relationship between a particular whole and its two separate parts. The Compare structure does not use an action and involves a comparison of two distinct, unconnected sets. Each day during problem solving I model solving one of the four problem solving structures, using this framework. Then, I guide the students, whole group solving the same problem solving structures. Finally, my students independently solve the same problem solving structure at the end of the week. (I Do, We Do, You Do) I work on one structure exclusively for about 3 weeks before moving onto the next. Then the students are ready for a variety of structures where they will solve and identify the structure. My students are not always given a paper copy of the framework so they are able to create it on their own in their math journals. They are becoming very analytical mathematical thinkers. Once I had my initial four structures of problem solving created it was easy to make my weekly problem solving structures. To create my weekly problem solving structures all I do is change the names, the verbs, the numbers and the nouns within my weekly problems. I am also including a chart that will help guide you through your initial problem solving lessons. I have also found it helpful for students and parents.
Chart to Organize and Guide Lesson
Editable Problem Solving Structures Framework
28 various Additive Problem Solving Situations Including Join, Separate, Part-Part-Whole, and Compare
28 various Additive Problem Solving Situations Answer Keys Including Join, Separate, Part-Part-Whole, and Compare
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