Mathematics, Operations (+, -, x, /, etc.)
Grade 1- 3
Students make sense of mathematical concepts by manipulating food items in order to solve a problem. As they solve the problem, they develop their critical-thinking skills.
Show students the pretzels you have brought and explain to them that they will use the pretzels to help them solve math problems. Since students will be handling food, make sure that they wash their hands before participating in the activity. It is also a good idea to check for allergies.
There are many methods that students can use to solve the problem. They can act it out by giving another student seven pretzels and counting the rings as they hand out the pretzels. They can draw diagrams on their activity sheets. They can set out the pretzels on paper towels in front of them and physically count them. They can even use the guess/check/revise method in which they make educatued guesses, find the solution, and then revise their earlier answers. It is important to give students the opportunity to experiment with different strategies.
As your students work on the problem, ask them some questions to help them with their problem solving. Try some of the following:
How did you reach that answer?
Can you use another strategy to solve the problem?
Can you write a problem that will produce the same answers?
Do you see a pattern?
Does anyone have the same answer but a different way to explain it?