Date of this Version
In this action research study of my classroom of 8th grade mathematics, I investigated the use of daily warm-ups written in problem-solving format. Data was collected to determine if use of such warm-ups would have an effect on students’ abilities to problem solve, their overall attitudes regarding problem solving and whether such an activity could also enhance their readiness each day to learn new mathematics concepts. It was also my hope that this practice would have some positive impact on maximizing the amount of time I have with my students for math instruction. I discovered that daily exposure to problem-solving practices did impact the students’ overall abilities and achievement (though sometimes not positively) and similarly the students’ attitudes showed slight changes as well. It certainly seemed to improve their readiness for the day’s lesson as class started in a more timely manner and students were more actively involved in learning mathematics (or perhaps working on mathematics) than other classes not involved in the research. As a result of this study, I plan to continue using daily warm-ups and problem-solving (perhaps on a less formal or regimented level) and continue gathering data to further determine if this methodology can be useful in improving students’ overall mathematical skills, abilities and achievement.