On 15 Jan 1998 Dale Zeretzke wrote: > Peg Tittle posted the following request today. I would very much > appreciate a copy of the response also, if it occurs off-list. TIA. >>I recall that someone sometime posted something about doing word >>problems. One of my math tutors just expressed a need to have more >>strategies for helping her tutees with word problems. If that person can >>contact me, off list if you like, I'd appreciate it! >Dale Zeretzke, Counselor >Grays Harbor College >[log in to unmask] Dale: Here's a response I sent: John M. Flanigan <[log in to unmask]> The equation is the final arbiter. Math Resource Instructor --Werner Heisenberg Kapi'olani Community College The scoreboard is the final arbiter. Honolulu, Hawaii --Bill Walton ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 12:59:56 -1000 (HST) From: "John M. Flanigan" <[log in to unmask]> To: Peg Tittle <[log in to unmask]> Subject: Re: math word problems help Peg: I don't know if my postings were the ones you saw, but... I present workshops on word problems at which I stress that the difficulties students have with word problems are essentially reading problems. I encourage them to restate the problem, to build a mental image of what is going on. I even suggest that they use color, motion, exaggeration, absurdity--all those things that memory experts suggest to enhance memory. The biggest problem I see is that they have trouble visualizing. (Is that because TV doesn't leave room to visualize, the way books did?) I use a series of sample problems, moving from very simple to more elaborate version of a similar problem (I call it "morphing") to help them see what visualizing the problem means. Example: We have a new freeway -- the H3 -- that has just opened and has been in the news quite frequently. Its most striking component is a huge, technologically advanced, tunnel through the Ko'olau mountain. I will ask the students how they might determine the number of cars that pass through the tunnel. (Imagine standing at the tunnel entrance for 24 hours and counting.) Then I will ask how they might determine how much gasoline a particular car would use driving the 15-mile length. Then I might ask how they might estimate the total amount of gasoline all the cars would use... how much CO2 is generated... etc. The students give me positive reviews, but I don't have any way of determining objectively that it does practical good. But they keep coming, so I guess it serves a need at least. (Actually I'm being too careful: Many students have told me that it helped both in their ability to work the problems and in their attitude toward them--which may be even more important to many.) Please let me know how you tackle the problem, and what results you perceive. Aloha, John M. Flanigan <[log in to unmask]> The equation is the final arbiter. Math Resource Instructor --Werner Heisenberg Kapi'olani Community College The scoreboard is the final arbiter. Honolulu, Hawaii --Bill Walton On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Peg Tittle wrote: > Hello. I recall that someone sometime posted something about doing word > problems. One of my math tutors just expressed a need to have more > strategies for helping her tutees with word problems. If that person can > contact me, off list if you like, I'd appreciate it! (I'm not a math > person.) > > Peg Tittle > [log in to unmask] >