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Problem-Solving:

The Graph Paper Solution

 

Today's Snack: Make a grid with a handful of thin pretzels. A "grid" is simply a network of horizontal and vertical lines. How many "squares" can you make with pretzels? When you've made the biggest grid you can, then eat it. For a drink, try a glass of tomato juice and "stir" it with a pretzel!

 

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Supplies:

One piece of graph paper; there are several sizes of squares;

select square size that's about as large

as you make your numbers

 

It's amazing how many students make mistakes with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division because they aren't writing their columns of numbers straight.

 

They subtract from the wrong digit, bring down the wrong digit in division problems, and add an extra place in a multiplication problem that leads to a ridiculously wrong answer.

 

It's hard to keep columns straight if you're working with plain, unlined paper. Sometimes, even lined notebook paper allows you to slant over too far, and mis-compute.

 

But here's the best solution of all:

 

Graph paper!

 

Just go to an office supply store, or a school supply store, and choose a pad of graph paper that has squares about the same size as you make your numbers.

 

Then either do your math homework directly on sheets of graph paper, or keep a piece of graph paper under your scratch paper as you work.

 

The horizontal and vertical lines will keep your computation columns in apple-pie order!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Math 2010

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