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This chapter is all about the students using math problem solving strategies to get themselves organized before or while they are solving a problem.
It will also help them see how to use their “rule” or equation to solve the given question as well as make predictions about the data.
It’s also important for students to consider whether or not their pattern will continue predictably.
In some instances, the pattern may look one way for the first few entries, then change, so this is important to consider as the problems get more challenging.
There are tons of examples of problems where creating a table and finding a pattern is a useful strategy, but here’s just one example for you: Included in the table is the week number (we’re looking at weeks 1-8), as well as the number of minutes per day and the total minutes for the week.
The first step is to fill in the first couple of weeks by calculating the total time.
Once you’ve found weeks 1-3, you may see a pattern and be able to calculate the total minutes for week 8.
This removes the tedious work of completing a table, which is especially nice if a lot of computation is involved.
But a table is also great for kids who struggle with math, because it gives them a way to get to the solution even if they have a hard time finding the pattern, or aren’t confident that they are using the “rule” correctly.