The point of this post is taking a little timeout in math everyday to let students think and work through challenging, rigorous problems without an immediately evident solution. I call this activity "daily brain work," and it takes 10 minutes. The intent here is to pose a problem to the class, and to step away and let them work through the problem on their own. Students should be able to elaborate and articulate how they reached their solution. Finally, go over the problem, have some students share their answers, and hopefully at least a few have the correct solution to share.
In order to get started, I needed some multi step story problems. Don't start too difficult, and make sure that everything you give students is developmentally appropriate for the majority of the class.
Here are some resources to find multi step word problems and other math puzzles / brain workouts:
Math Multi-Step Word Problems
- 25 Word Problems at IQ Study Activities: A good starting point to find some straight forward story problems appropriate for 5th graders.
- A Few Pages of Story Problems at about.com: Nothing fancy, just some more story problems.
- Helping With Math Word Problems Guide: A page with some information on how to help students approach open ended questions, and a bank of questions as well.
- Challenging Word Problems at Math Top 10: Good stuff here, there's a lot of them too.
Brain Teasers / Math Puzzles