Episode 3 part 1a.mp4

Direct Instruction

Some students were struggling to break apart a word problem and solve it using a variety of methods. I thought using a think board might help them break it apart into different ways of thinking and different ways of representing the numbers.

Extended plan here


What went well.


The questions were appropriate numbers for their ability and they could understand the word problem.


Each student knew what was supposed to go in each box, so they must have understood the modelling at the beginning.


Throughout the different problems this group solved (only one is shown), they used different materials correctly and appropriately for their questions. They selected the one they wanted to use and were able to make it work for them.

What still needs work.


This group was very big and completely made of girls. Although this sometimes works for them, this group was too big for what they were trying to do. Hence, some people didn’t actually do a lot.


The people in the group didn’t necessarily communicate well with each other. The two girls who made the material representation did it correctly, didn’t show the rest of the group then packed it away. If they had explained it to the group, it might have helped them solve their addition dilemmas a bit quicker/easier. Another girl knew what was written was incorrect, but didn’t say anything until I prompted her to do so. A smaller group would have made this a bit easier.

Class Site Content

WALT use think boards to break up a word problem


  • Watch Miss Ashley explain and model what a think board is.

  • Form your group and solve questions given by the teacher. Work together in your group to use the think board to break up each question before finding the answer.

  • Complete a digital think board independently and share on your blog.

Learner Generated Content