Problem solving has a special place in the schedule for a group of fourth graders who look forward to Word Problem Wednesdays. Suncoast Elementary school, the fourth grade has been practicing a special technique their teacher, Marguerite Kling, calls KQL on on Word Problem Wednesdays.

Kling explained KQL to the students in three steps. First students should look for known information – K.  They write what they know from the problem as stated.  Then they find the question, or the hidden question – the Q.  The L is for what the information looks like, such as graphs or tables.

Students form teams to figure out the KQLs until Kling directs them to come together as a group.  Then the teams visit other tables, evaluating each other’s work.

The students use the Student Work Analysis Rubic, ranking work looking for identification of KQL.  They check calculations, use of math vocabulary, and use of labels.

Kling finds the math vocabulary is valuable for her to determine if they understand the concepts. “The conversations they have are really amazing,” she said, “the math vocabulary they’re using. It’s nice for me, because I can kind of eavesdrop.”

Continue reading

Related article