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Get It Together: Math Problems for Groups…

Get It Together: Math Problems for Groups Grades 4-12

by Tim Erickson

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This is an interesting book designed to promote cooperation and communication skills as well as critical thinking in math.

The book is organized into units of mathematical skills, and is also matrixed for appropriate grade level activities.

Get It Together is a collection of group problem solving "games" for students. Each student is given a piece of the puzzle and is allowed to read their piece to the group. The group listens to each student's clue as it is read.

I was exposed to this book 3 times in my professional educational career as a teacher at two different universities. First in an undergraduate math course preparing students who wanted to go on to be elementary school teachers. Second, in an interview for a graduate teacher certification program, and third in a math course for elementary education at the graduate level preparing school teachers. I noticed while solving the problems myself, that one person in the group may have a tendency to "take over" the group in order to solve the problem for them. When using these in my own classroom, I observe the same thing in children. The difference is however, that students are not necessarily able to explain to their group how they got the solution. I end up with one person saying, "we're done" and four or five confused children who are wondering what just happened.

While it's a useful tool, I still have concerns about using it with students. It is important for all students to participate actively in the problem solving, and I always notice one student dominating the activity.
  blancaflor | Oct 4, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0912511532, Paperback)

You don't have to learn math by yourself! Solving problems in groups is exciting, effective, and equitableit helps all students succeed in math. Get It Together is a collection of over 100 mathematics problems for groups of 26 students. The problems cover a wide range of math topics such as logic, functions, algebra, geometry, measurement, and number patterns at various levels of difficulty. Each problem has the same format: six clue cards provide the information needed to solve a problem. Since each member of the group has a different bit of information, everyone works together to arrive at a solution. In one problem, only some people get sick after eating a potluck meal. Was it the swamp chicken, the cheesecake, or something else? The group collaborates to discover which food was the culprit. This book is an excellent resource with teacher information on cooperative groups, assessment, problem solving and the use of manipulatives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:55 -0400)

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