Strategies To Solve Math Problems

Students can use drawings to help them look at a problem from many different perspectives.

Do you remember watching your math teacher solve a problem on the blackboard and then diligently trying to copy her technique to solve the other problems on your worksheet? The problem is, we absorbed some counterproductive messages in the process.

It consists of a page per strategy with space provided to insert the name of any problem that you come across that uses that particular strategy (Act it out, Draw, Guess, Make a List).

We have found that this kind of poster provides good revision for children. Through these links, children can see that mathematics is not only connected by skills but also by processes.

The idea is that you use your first incorrect guess to make an improved next guess. In relatively straightforward problems like that, it is often fairly easy to see how to improve the last guess. Children themselves take the role of things in the problem.

In some problems though, where there are more variables, it may not be clear at first which way to change the guessing.2 Act It Out We put two strategies together here because they are closely related. In the Farmyard problem, the children might take the role of the animals though it is unlikely that you would have 87 children in your class!

It provides students with opportunities to use their newly acquired knowledge in meaningful, real-life activities and assists them in working at higher levels of thinking (see Levels of Questions).

Here is a five-stage model that most students can easily memorize and put into action and which has direct applications to many areas of the curriculum as well as everyday life: For younger students, illustrations are helpful in organizing data, manipulating information, and outlining the limits of a problem and its possible solution(s).

Problem-solving involves three basic functions: Problem-solving is, and should be, a very real part of the curriculum.

It presupposes that students can take on some of the responsibility for their own learning and can take personal action to solve problems, resolve conflicts, discuss alternatives, and focus on thinking as a vital element of the curriculum.

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