I use this sheet for my daily math review, all unit tests, benchmark tests, and eventually students will be able to independently apply it for end of year testing. You will need to explicitly show students each step as you work through math problems together, but their confidence will grow quickly. The "C" stands for the clue words in the problem. This will help students clue into what is really being asked. The "O" stands for operation. Students will put the operation they are choosing to solve the problem. The "W" stands for the work portion. Students need to know that they need to show their work, and not be afraid to try something else, if needed. At the bottom of each box is a "Happy COW" check-off box. This is that crucial end of problem thinking that we struggle to get students to actually do. This is where they ask themselves if their answer makes sense. Did they solve what was really being asked? If the answer is yes, they get to check the box. I copy these front to back, and make a huge stack to use for the entire year. I hope you love the simplicity and strength this will bring to your students' problem solving toolbox.
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