Math in the Middle Institute Partnership


Date of this Version



A report on an action research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Master of Arts in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ruth Heaton Advisor. July 2006.


The purpose of this study is to determine if students solve math problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division consistently and whether students transfer these skills to other mathematical situations and solutions. In this action research study, a classroom of 6th grade mathematics students was used to investigate how students solve word problems and how they determine which mathematical approach to use to solve a problem. It was discovered that many of the students read and re-read a question before they try to find an answer. Most students will check their answer to determine if it is correct and makes sense. Most students agree that mastering basic math facts is very important for problem solving and prefer mathematics that does not focus on problem solving. As a result of this research, it will be emphasized to the building principal and staff the need for a unified and focused curriculum with a scope and sequence for delivery that is consistently followed. The importance of managing basic math skills and making sure each student is challenged to be a mathematical thinker will be stressed.