Hi everyone! Happy New Year! I am checking in with a little discussion on why I DON'T teach key words for problem solving in math class. I also have a giveaway for you and some exciting updates on my favorite hobby, Jamberry Nail Wraps! Read on to find out about everything!
I have been thinking a lot about math lately! I used to spend time on teaching key words - you know, discussing what key words mean, why they were important, what the key words were, what operation you should use when you see them... we would go through the problems and circle, underline, highlight and more. BUT... now I am straying away from teaching them. WHY? Well, I actually find key words can confuse students. Plus, I don't want them taking too many shortcuts to solve problems, because if they do so, they may not really understand the problem, or how math works. If they just memorize that "in all" means addition, sure they might get the correct answer but I really want them to understand why addition works for it. Also, so many times students use other strategies besides straight computation to solve a word problem. For example, when trying to solve the problem: "Kate has 14 blueberries. Tim has 5. How many fewer does Tim have?" sure, some kiddos will subtract 14-5 but a LOT will find the missing addend by doing 5 + ___ = ? and they will count up or back, therefore using addition to get the answer to a subtraction problem. You see what I mean?
I can't take all the credit for my decision not to teach key words (for the most part -honestly, I do occasionally admit to a student "Well, if the problem asks, 'How many donuts total?' total means you should add the numbers together".). About 2 months ago I went to an AMAZING Greg Tang workshop. If you have not been to his free website www.gregtangmath.com you are crazy! Get on it! Well, Greg Tang mentioned that key words are confusing and it may not be the best strategy to spend class time on. He gave a great example, which pretty much sealed the deal for me. The word "MORE". Most of us would quickly just say, "Oh, the key word more mean addition". For example, I get 6 more coconuts means you had some and you are adding more to what you have, so solve by adding. BUT what about the problems where someone has 3 coconuts and someone has 10 and they ask how many MORE does one person have? That is a comparison number story that can be solved by subtraction, or addition (counting up to figure out the missing addend). Check out these examples (which by the way were nice and neat and side by side in my blogger draft):
Again, I am not saying I NEVER talk about key words but I am definitely way more cognizent about the pitfalls of doing so and have been steering clear of them. I keep seeing all these awesome anchor charts and pins on Pinterest about them so I know some amazing teachers do successfully teach them. What do you think? Do you teach them or not?
By the way if your kiddos need some word problem practice, you may want to check out my Winter Addition and Subtraction Number Stories Pack. Lots of fun ways to practice! Click here or on the image to see it at TPT.
NOW onto the Jamberry updates and giveaway!
Jamberry has some amazing new incentives for those of you that host a party in January (your party must start and end in January). I made a short video to explain some (but not all) them to you - check that out here.
If you have NEVER tried Jamberry nail wraps, click here for a FREE sample or on the link/pictures of my Jamicure in the right hand sidebar! Questions about Jamberry? E-mail me!
Or read why you should host a Facebook party this month! (If you already know you want to, click here to request your party)
Reason 1: Exclusive Lacquer Set
I LOVE this exclusive lacquer set The colors are so pretty and there is an exclusive 3-D mixed metals embellishments bottle. It is an exclusive set that can only be earned by hostesses of qualifying parties in January. You can't buy it anywhere- even consultants like me have to have their own parties to earn it!
Reason 2: Double Half Off Items
Only in January will hostesses earn DOUBLE half price items on all parties that reach $400 in sales. Instead of earning 5 half price items, hosts earn TEN half price items with $400 in party sales!
Reason 3: Mini-Heater Incentive
Here's a little incentive from me! Check out the cool (well "hot" is more like it) deal if you book your party to start on one of these dates!
Reason 4: January Snow Jam Shuffle
Check out this fun game board I made for January hostesses! When your sales reach each of the special spots you earn fun hostess rewards!
Reason 5: A half sheet of nail wraps in addition to your awesome hostess kit
Here are some of the half sheets I have just waiting for you!
Jamberry just introduced a ton of fun Spring holiday wraps.You can earn these with your party hostess rewards and your friends will totally want to get their own too! I already gave in and ordered 4 of the Valentine's Day wraps! (PLUS: Facebook parties are FREE! I do the work and you have fun with your friends! Request your party here or e-mail me with questions!)
NOW ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!
The prizes are (1) free $15 Jamberry product credit and (2) half sheets of accent nails to be given to 3 random winners chosen by Rafflecopter! Please read the details below in the Rafflecopter and enter away! Lots of fun ways to win!