Solving multi-part math constructed response tasks is such a tricky skill for my students. Not only is the actual solving the problems tricky, but my students also struggle with organizing their responses and their work. I have spent a lot of time this past school year thinking of how to combat that and help scaffold my students. This post sums up what I have come up with so far to help.
First, I wanted to come up with a set of steps for my students to follow when they are solving multi-part word problems. Here are the steps:
To me, the most important step will be Step 4. This will force the students to think about whether they need to carry over any existing information for the additional parts. I require my students to actually write the information that is needed from the other part(s) or to write that no information is needed. Here is an example of a constructed response task that has been completed using the steps from the chart. As you can see the information that was carried over from Part A was recorded. Eventually, the students will now longer need to write it down, but this will definitely help them in the beginning and make this internal.
Here are a few more examples:
The particular resource that I plan to use to teach multi part math tasks comes with three different versions of each task. The tasks themselves are not differentiated. Instead the response part is differentiated. The first level has sentence stems to help the students respond in complete sentences. The second level has no stems but separates the work space for each part. The final part (where I will eventually move all my students to) has no stems and no separate work space. The students will be expected to organize their answers on their own with no scaffold. Click here to see the bundle that includes 60 math tasks (20 Whole Numbers, 20 Fractions, and 20 Decimals)
In addition to the anchor chart, I also made a chart printable for the students to keep in their notebooks to help remind them of the steps while they are solving these tasks.
Click here or on the image to grab the free printable poster.
To purchase the tasks featured in this post, click on the image below.
How do you help your students solve multi part math tasks?