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Daily Routines to Jump-Start Problem Solving, Grades K-8

Daily Routines to Jump-Start Problem Solving, Grades K-8

June 2023 | 232 pages | Corwin

Finally! A book that helps solve the problem of teaching problem solving!

Learning to be a problem solver is hard. Teaching students how to be problem solvers themselves can be even harder. Some students may learn to mimic procedures to come up with correct answers, but are they really learning to solve problems? To become independent problem solvers, students need to practice exploring, tinkering, and, most important, thinking!!

The bite-size routines in this guide are perfect for teachers looking for the interesting, engaging, and doable practice students need to become problem-solving masters. These flexible, modifiable bursts of quality practice are designed to get students to look at problems at different ways, sparking discussion, making connections, and boosting mathematics achievement. This collection addresses the common challenges students and teachers face when learning to problem solve by offering guidance on

  • Developing students’ mathematical reasoning and conceptual understanding
  • Building students’ skills with various problem-solving strategies
  • Nurturing mathematical confidence and improving identity and agency

Fortified with standards for math practices and processes, the ideas in this guide develop the reasoning and critical-thinking skills needed to become independent problem-solvers for life!

Part I: Why Jump-Start Routines for Problem Solving?
Part II: Jump-Start Routines for Problem Solving
I Would Say
Asked and Answered
What’s the Question?
Same Data, Different Question
How Do You…?
Same and Different
What’s the Sitch?
They Did What?
This Number, That Number
Imagine That
Math the Equation
Another Question
It Can’t Be
Is It Reasonable?
Sticky Patterns
Lots and Lots
The Swap
Part III: Where to Go Next

Problem solving has long been a challenge for students—until now! This book provides teachers with
a bank of routines to engage students in thinking, reasoning, and sense making. Everything you need
to teach students to be effective problem solvers is in your hands right now!

Marissa Walsh
Blue Springs School District

John J. SanGiovanni has written yet another masterful book on routines focused on problem solving.
My mentor once told me the way you get better at solving math problems is making sense and
solving more math problems. Many students typically shy away from problem solving, yet in this book
SanGiovanni has developed culturally relevant problems students can engage in to help build their
problem solving skills. He has brilliantly put together a book of problem-solving routines to help all
students be more successful. If we want equitable mathematics classrooms, ALL students must be
engaged in daily problem solving and Daily Routines to Jump-Start Problem Solving is a resource to
ensure that!

Georgina Rivera
Charter Oak International Academy, NCSM

I have been using resources from John J. SanGiovanni since 2018! His strategies have helped propel
thinking and student engagement in my classroom as well as classrooms across my district. His
activities and routines have increased students’ enjoyment of mathematics concepts, which has led to
higher scores across the district.

Milton Leathers
Prairie-Hills Elementary School District 144

Teachers often say, “My students can solve math equations, but not word problems.” With SanGiovanni’s
Daily Routines to Jump-Start Problem Solving, teachers can ensure students develop the confidence
to solve word problems without using hazardous tricks and gimmicks. Students will be encouraged
to think about the mathematics behind the problem. The ideas in this book should be part of every
mathematics class.

Lorie Huff

Instead of “cookbook” problem-solving prompts, SanGiovanni provides teachers with step-by-step guidance
on implementing problem solving through the use of classroom-ready instructional routines that allow
students to engage in rich problem-solving experiences and promote reasoning. Additionally, this book
encourages productive discourse, facilitates “just in time” scaffolds, and supports existing high-quality
curriculum materials.

Latrenda Knighten

The routines in this book are easy to follow and help set the stage to spark student engagement and
discourse in any math class. As a math coach, I am always looking for ways to support teachers in helping
students to be better thinkers and to reason with math, and these quick bursts of quality practice are an
amazing resource. The graphic organizers provided to support the routines help ensure all students have an
entry point to problem solving.

Cortni Muir
New Milford Public Schools, Associated Teacher of Mathematics in Connecticut (ATOMIC)

Daily Routines to Jump-Start for Problem Solving offers a plethora of problem-solving routines to promote
reasoning and critical thinking skills. A resource for administrators, instructional coaches, and math teachers,
each protocol has a “Something to Think About” section, images and examples that encourage productive
discussions, and variations of each routine to meet all students’ needs.

Gali Donahue
Academy of Catholic Educators

Daily Routines to Jump-Start Problem Solving is truly a game changer for K–8 educators. Every problemsolving
situation embodies critical thinking and comprehension, thus building student self-efficacy.
SanGiovanni provides practical tools and support to breathe new life into math language routines,
promoting equitable problem solving for all students. Routines showcased in this book allow students to
take the driver’s seat as they engage in real-world problem solving.

Kimberly K. Jones
Region 10 Educational Service Center

As math educators and leaders, we have all been waiting for a book like this to aid in facilitating rich
discussions centered on problem-solving, all in the first few minutes of daily instruction! SanGiovanni
provides 20 research-based strategies to help students become problem-posers and problem-solvers while
building their confidence, agency, and identity. This book is truly a gift to the math education community.

Andrea Wood
Mid-Del Schools

SanGiovanni shares a creative collection of quick, high-quality practice opportunities that will help
students sharpen their problem-solving skills. Teachers have been longing for purposeful activities like
these to engage their students in thinking and sense-making as they strive to develop confident problem
solvers in mathematics. This book will become one of teachers’ best-loved instructional resources!

Susie Katt
Lincoln Public Schools

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ISBN: 9781071888261