Explain how you would tackle the problem; 37+45+26
As a child at school, we were always exhorted to show our working, then we’d get credit, even if the answer was wrong. This idea of showing working is important, as, unless that is available and the only available information is an answer, the teacher has no idea what the child was thinking through the process.
One day, as an experiment in an infant class, who had been spending time writing reports, I asked them to write the story of how they tackled an addition problem. At that stage, I had no idea how it would go, but, having written reports, they were used to putting ideas into some order. With one group, they had to solve the problem talking aloud throughout, with an adult scribe.
Their writing also became a de facto script, so that they were able to rehearse to their peers what they had done. The articulation sometimes identified areas where they had missed out a stage or instruction.
Most were able to write and talk in terms of steps that they took and were able to explain to their partners what they had been thinking throughout. They had a very good context for time connectives, before they were on any curriculum.
Peer talk became, after a while, something that became a regular part of the classroom maths practice: the need to explore and explain their thinking when sorting out a problem. Working in partnership enhanced their articulation and clarified their thinking, so that, eventually, there was a marked improvement in basic arithmetic.
Showing their working became talking their working, became remembering their working.