Lesson Plan

Using Open-ended Questions in Primary Math

This project explores using open-ended questions in math in the primary division as a strategy to assist students in developing number concepts. The teachers had observed that a ‘show and tell’ method of teaching math resulted in the students being able to perform a task in a familiar context but when presented with a problem in another context, the students struggled with applying what they had appeared to know.  Although word problems have always been a part of math work, they are often used as a means for students to apply a learned skill directly after the skill has been practiced.  In these situations, the students don’t need to sort out how to solve the problem; they just need to apply an operation to some numbers.  In this project, we wanted word problems to be a chance for exploration and solidification of number concepts, as the students responded to the problem in different ways.