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Research Plan for Problem Solving

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**1. **Research Plan for Problem Solving By, Tarah Beuschel
TE 891
Mark Conley

**2. **Purpose for Research Students have had difficulties in problem solving for the last four years.
The world consists of only word problems rather than algorithms.
Increase math test scores on the MEAP that are primarily word problems.
I will be teaching an enrichment math class for all the 6th graders in addition to their core math class. This will be taught on a nine week rotation.

**3. **Current Difficulties Difficulty understanding wording with different mathematical operations.
Many students are unable to solve multi-step word problems.
Math MEAP scores are low with the heavy focus on word problems.
New textbooks do not have a unit designated for solving word problems.

**4. **Research Question What is an effective plan for developing better problem solvers?

**5. **Subquestions How does this plan affect special education students?
How does this plan affect monolingual students?
How might this plan advance in difficulty yet maintain its flow as the year progresses?
Will the progressive order of solving story problems be most productive or mixing some of the progressions be more helpful?

**6. **Data Collection Give students a pretest.
Have students write about the processes they use to solve story problems initially.
Give posttest after unit.
Give follow-up assessment.
Have students write about the processes they use to solve story problems at the end of unit.

**7. **Data Analysis Analyze the pretest to see common errors in each of the specific word problem types.
Read each write-up of processes to address correct thoughts and misconceptions throughout the unit.
Compare posttest to pretest for changes both for the positive and those still unlearned.
Read the final write-up to determine how much of the processing absorbed into the students own word problem processes.
Determine how to better teach the unit from what rules and processes are lost from the posttest to the follow-up assessment.

**8. **Time Line

**9. **Time Line

**10. **Time Line

**11. **Expected Outcomes Students will be more confident solving word problems.
Students with a language barrier and special education will have difficulties but will benefit from the slower pace and multiple intelligence additions (skits, drawings, etc).
Math MEAP scores will increase in the 7th grade.
Expect to have to revise plan at end of nine weeks to meet needs of other classes.
Understanding that knowledge of certain problems (division and decimals) will advance as the year progresses with different classes.

**12. **Material Resources Forte, Imogene & Marjorie Frank. Middle School Problem
Solving Inventive Exercises to Sharpen Skills and
Raise Achievement. Nashville: Incentive
Publications, 1997.
Middle School Math Course 1. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
2004.
Tuttle, Amy & Wes. Daily Word Problems 6 Math.
Monterey: Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 2001.