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From: Kari Brewer

I am a second grade teacher in Virginia. We received one copy of the Target the Question math program to try out. At first I was skeptical about the program and thought it was just something else I had to find time for. As soon as I set up the bulletin board for the program it got the students attention. We began using Target the Question during the second week of school right after finishing morning calendar. After about three weeks of using the program every day the kids started enjoying it and I was starting to see results during our regular math period. Each morning when I plug in the overhead the kids know it is time to put on their critical thinking caps and do Target the Question. Depending on which day of the week it is I always review the question or information from the day before. Then we review the overhead transparency. I will ask a student to predict what they think the question for the day is. The children get very excited and want to see the question quickly. Following the steps of the program I put the question in the pocket I made on the bulletin board. Then I ask the kids to find the important information (numbers and clue words) needed to answer the question. I circle the information on the board from the transparency, and underline the clue words on the pocket. Then the students set to work writing their number sentences. Upon completion of the number sentence we write an explanatory statement about our answer. We have been doing this part as a group, and are working towards writing it independently. Because of this program my class has learned what a number sentence is, how to write one and why it is different from a regular sentence. They are also more in tune with the important information found in math stories or word problems. On our regular math practice pages I see them circling this information to help them solve the problem. My children are also very good at writing their own math stories, because we work with them every day now. I have told the curriculum coach at my school what a great program I think Target the Question is. Other teachers have (observed) Target the Question and really like the way that there are specific steps to follow for each problem. I think this program teaches children the strategies.

Kari Brewer

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