### It’s Tom Tabling Turtle!

Howdy, I’m Tom Tabling Turtle and I make tables-
These are columns and rows with numbers and labels.
Always organize your information, is what I say,
So you can discover patterns and relationships in a logical way.

Tom Tabling Turtle is our newest animal in our Problem-Solving Pond: A Common Core Math Strategy Unit. The Problem-Solving Pond was created to help teachers overcome Common Core math challenges and employ problem-solving strategies with confidence and fidelity. Tom’s unit is perfect for general education, special education, RTI and math intervention. Read more about Tom’s strategy below or download the complete unit here.

WHAT is the table strategy? Students make a table complete with labeled columns and rows. The table strategy helps students write information in an organized format, allowing them to easily identify number patterns and relationships.

WHY is the table strategy important?  When students make a table, they organize information in a logical way and critically examine data patterns to create a solution.

HOW do I teach the table strategy?  When you introduce and practice the strategy, give students a pre-made table. Todd’s turtle shell provides scaffolding with space for labels and organized columns and rows for neat data entry. As students become proficient with the table strategy, teach them to make their own table so they can use this strategy independently without the need for a pre-made table.

WHEN should I use the table strategy? This is an ideal strategy for developing mathematicians who have a solid number sense foundation. It is most effective for repeated addition or multiplication story problems.

Helpful hints:

Use a pre-made table.  Young students often lack fine motor skills needed to construct a table, but are perfectly capable of using this strategy. Provide a pre-made table, such as Tom’s turtle shell or a simple table made in Microsoft Word so students can easily input data.

Provide visual support. After teaching students how to construct a table, be sure to write and post directions (along with visual support) in a prominent place during problem-solving time.  Students would also benefit from an anchor chart like this one as well.

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