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Problem Solving

By
Gabriela Morales.
Math TEKS

Knowledge and skills:


(1) Mathematical process standards. The student uses mathematical processes to acquire
and demonstrate mathematical understanding.

The student is expected to:


(A) apply mathematics to problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace;
(B) use a problem-solving model that incorporates analyzing given information,
formulating a plan or strategy, determining a solution, justifying the solution, and
evaluating the problem-solving process and the reasonableness of the solution;
(C) select tools, including real objects, manipulatives, paper and pencil, and technology as
appropriate, and techniques, including mental math, estimation, and number sense as
appropriate, to solve problems.
"A rubber ball rebounds to half the height it drops. If the ball is
dropped from a rooftop 18 m above the ground, what is the total
distance traveled by the time it hits the ground the third time?

A. 31.5 m

B. 40.5 m

C . 45 m

D. 63 m
Step One: Read and Understand the Problem.

Read the word problem out loud for the students. If


necessary, let the students read it one more time on their
own. Ask the students if they know what the problem is
asking and what kind of math operation is needed to be
solved.
Step Two: Spot Key Words.

Underline or circle key words in order to make it easier to understand it.

Use different colors, some students work better if they see some important
words pop out. By using different colors, the student is able to focus on only important
information, leaving aside the extra.

"A rubber ball rebounds to half the height it drops. If the ball is dropped from a
rooftop 18 m above the ground, what is the total distance traveled by the time it hits
the ground the third time?
Step Three: Visualize it.

Students have different ways to learn. If reading the problem and underlining key
words, is not sufficient, use visuals.
Some students have a better perspective of what they need to do once they see it.
Using a white board or drawings in a piece of paper is always a helpful resource.
Step Four: Identify the Math Operation

Is it addition, subtraction, multiplication or division?


Is it a One-Step or Multiple-Step problem?

Since the problem is asking for the total distance after the ball bounced three times, this is an
addition.

As a teacher, I need to remind my students that every time the ball bounces, it drops HALF the
distance each time it touches the ground:

Initial distance (first bounce): 18 m.


Half of that (second bounce): 9 m.
Half of that (third bounce): 4.5 m.
Step Five: Write a Number Sentence

Once the operation has been identified, write it down with numbers.

18 m. + 9 m. + 4.5 m. =
First bounce + Second bounce + Third bounce =
Step Six: Solve.

Finally, solve the word problem, always checking it twice. Also, if multiple
answers are given, compare and eliminate the rest.

18 m. + 9 m. + 4.5 m. = 31.5 m.

A. 31.5 m

B. 40.5 m

C . 45 m

D. 63 m