The 7th grade has been continuing their use of variables to represent an unknown number in a variety of contexts. In this chapter Mr. Zippin introduced the 5D Process as a new method to solve problems that our previous methods were too challenging or too time consuming to solve. In the 5D Process, the students carefully read the problem and write the important parts and relevant information in the Describe part. This is also the place where they could draw a picture if that would be helpful to solve for the unknown.
The second D is the Define columns where the students carefully label the elements of the problem and define what they will be guessing. Mr. Zippin stresses that the columns must be carefully labeled and filled in with full math operations. The Do column is the place where they write out the full mathematical expression. The Decide column of their table is where the seventh graders check their answer with what they are trying to find and then decide what a good next guess would be. Finally, they end with a Declare that answers the question being asked by the problem.
As they continue to use the 5D Process, they begin to add an additional line to our table, the variable. The students begin to recognize that the variable expression can be used to summarize the relationships in the 5D process. As they continue with the work, the seventh graders will write full single variable equations and solve them from words problems.