If you have older students, encourage them to find a pattern in the table and explain it in words, and then also with mathematical symbols and/or an equation.This will help them form connections and increase number sense.
As I mentioned when I discussed problem solving by making a list, finding a pattern can be immensely helpful and save a lot of time when working on a word problem.
Sometimes, however, a student may not recognize the pattern right away, or may get bogged down with all the details of the question.
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.
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Copyright Statement for this Assessment and Evaluation Services Publication Authorization for reproduction of this document is hereby granted to persons acting in an official capacity within the State System of Public Education as defined in Section 228.041(1), Florida Statutes.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.But it’s not just important that kids can read and answer questions based on information in a table, it’s also important that they know how to create their own table and then use it to solve problems, find patterns, graph equations, and so on.And while some may think of these as two different things, I think problem solving by making a table and finding a pattern go hand in hand!I loved how the book was all about modeling these strategies with the students.If modeled correctly and practiced enough in the younger grades, these students will be able to use these strategies fluently to solve more complex problems in grades 3-5.Helping students learn how to set up a table is also helpful because they can use it to organize information (much like making a list) even if there isn’t a pattern to be found, because it can be done in a systematic way, ensuring that nothing is left out.If your students are just learning how to read and create tables, I would suggest having them circle their answer in the table to show that they understood the question and knew where in the table to find the answer.I think it is especially important to make it clear to students that it is perfectly acceptable to complete the entire table (or continue a given table) if they don’t see or don’t know how to use the pattern to solve the problem.I was working with a student once and she was given a table, but was then asked a question about information I showed her how to use the “rule” of the pattern to get the same answer. Looking for and finding patterns is such an essential part of mathematics education!