Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Math Story Problems

This year one of my goals has been to pose more problems with my kindergartens. It's difficult to get it all in when there is so much to teach! I was inspired by the book Math Exchanges by Kassia Wedekind to carve out some time to meet with small groups of students and pose some problems. I think this book paints a picture of how it can look in your classroom.

Snow Problems
It has been snowing where I live! We read the beautiful book the READER, and it lead to some sled problems. The Reader is a wonderful book.

 It has nothing to do with math, but it is the perfect book to read on a snowy day.  When I do make story problems, I use the names of students in my class. After a few weeks of snow problems, I will have students create their own.

Step One: I will read the problem

Step Two: The child will retell the math problem. I know in kindergarten kids have a difficult time retelling the problem many want to shout out the answer.
If a child struggles with this, I will help retell with them.

Step Three: When solving problems I make sure I have many tools at the table.
A bucket of cubes, a ten frames, a number line, hundredth chart, and pencils, etc.

Step Four: Share the different ways we solved the problem.

The following are some winter theme problems.

Click here for
Pattern Problems
These are some story problems we worked on during our pattern unit.
I love the idea of leaving a blank for the number! That way kids can be working at a just right level for them.  It also discourages children from getting the answer from their neighbor. The idea of leaving the blank comes from Math Exchanges.

Quick Sheet 

click here for the

Happy Math!


  1. Hi Melissa! I'm an avid reader of your blog and am constantly going back and rereading old posts...If your blog was a book on my shelf, the cover would be worn out from use! I appreciate that you get down to the nuts and bolts of teaching and always push MY thinking. Definitely going to try your math snow problems with my kiddos AND am checking out the Math Exchanges book...Thanks so much for sharing! (I can't seem to open the link for the snow problems...not sure if it is working...)

  2. Christine, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! Sometimes you post things and you think will some else like this or use this? I am so glad I push your thinking!! Her book is great and easy to read. Have a wonderful week! Melissa

  3. Wonderful problem! I am taking a class right now called CGI Cognitively Guided Instruction! It is amazing. It is all about math and posing problems.

  4. Amy the book Math Exchanges is based on CGI it's so funny I just read the CGI book and loved it too!! Is the course amazing?

  5. Hi! I love your snow problems, but when I try to click on the link to get those it says I don't have access to them. Is there a way to fix this? I'd love to use those during our CGI block. My email is Thank you!

  6. Again, I love what your kids can do!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  7. Hello! I was hoping to try the snow problems with my students but couldn't access the docs. my email is Thank you so much!

  8. You should be able to download give a try now! If not email me back! Thanks Melissa


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