During the middle school years, some students find the mathematics curriculum dull, uninteresting and some students lack the skills needed to solve word problems. As a result, they perform poorly in math and need help on how to go about solving word problems. Teaching basic properties in mathematics helps to lay the foundation for solving word problems.
This unit is designed to teach to students in grades five to eight. The purpose of this unit is to focus on the Commutative and Associative Properties of Addition, Inverse Properties of Addition and Subtraction, Commutative and Associative Properties of Multiplication; Distributive Property of Multiplication over Addition, Zero Property and the Identity Property for Addition, and the Identity Property for Multiplication. In the content section of the unit under each sub-topic will be: explanations about each topic and a set of word problems that illustrates what is meant by each property.
Lesson plans are supported by proper goals and objectives, assessment tools and resources. Students will be engaged in activities using individual and cooperative learning groups. Students will be exposed to developing skills of thinking, analyzing and problem solving through classroom discussions, and creating their own word problems based on realistic every day situations. In this unit, strategies are given to help students use a variety of approaches for tackling word problem, organizing data based on information given in a word problem, and to translating word problems into equations using algebraic expressions. This unit on “Using Basic Properties To Solve Problems In Math” is framed around New Haven Standards for teaching word problems to students in grades 5-8.
As a result of using this unit, it is hoped that teachers gain more insight to a logical, and consistent approach to teaching students how to think logically to solve problems in math and everyday life; develop understanding of, and interest in math problem solving skills that promotes the best practice; help students interpret different problems presented in words; encourage students to persist when there is more than one step to a problem and encourage students to explain how they can be sure they have a complete solution to a problem when all possibilities are not given. Also, included in this unit are teacher resources, student reading list and a bibliography.