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Scholastic Parents: The Learning Toolkit

Summer Problem of the Week

If your kids find worksheets boring, try challenging them to solve a new problem each week.
on July 21, 2015
To make math work a little easier for you and your family this summer, consider creating a Problem of the Week activity.  And yes, it's as easy as it sounds!  I have done this with my son and daughter the last few summers and there has been no fighting or arguing when it comes to getting the problem done.  I actually think they have enjoyed it because it's different than the typical worksheets that can be boring.  They have the freedom to choose when and how to solve the problem.
Every Monday, a problem is chosen and recorded or copied into a POW (Problem of the Week) journal.  This can be any type of composition book, journal, notebook, or homemade book.  My kids love to decorate their journal and make it special.  It can also be done on the computer or through Google drive.  The problem needs to be completed and "turned in" by the end of the week on Friday.
The problems should not only be age/skill level appropriate but also problems that can be solved over a longer period of time, not just computation problems.   This is not about practicing certain skills or memorizing facts.  The point of this activity is to foster a love for math and create an environment where students can push themselves beyond the typical everyday math problems.  They can make mistakes, learn from them, and move on.  The journal is a great way to encourage not only writing the answer but also detailing how they solved the problem, what worked and didn't work, and what they learned.  I encourage my own children to write about the process and have a complete, strong solution in their journal.  
There are several ways to create/find problems.  The easiest way to find them is to Google "math problems of the week" or something similar online. You can buy a book that provides more thought-provoking math problems and transfer them in the journal.  Or you can create the problems on your own.  Below are some good sites that provide problems for you.  

About this blog

In the Learning Toolkit blog, get quick and easy tips on how to support your child’s learning at home. From arts and crafts activities to conducting science experiments, we offer simple and fun ways to support your learner’s development at every age and stage.

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