Thursday, October 25, 2012

Problem Solving Strategies

My math classes have been looking at different problem solving strategies, trying them out, and discovering what works best individually.  We've tried:
    1. Using Models or Manipulatives
    2. Drawing a Picture
    3. Acting it Out or Role Playing
    4. Making a Chart or Table
    5. Making a List or a Graph
    6. Looking for Patterns (All math is based on patterns.)
    7. Working Backwards
    8. Guessing and Checking
    9. Making the Problem Simpler
I believe problem solving should be the central focus of any mathematics curriculum.  It is the major reason for studying math and provides a context in which concepts and skills can be learned.  It is the major vehicle for developing higher order thinking skills.  However, there is one problem solving strategy that will not work, although many students try it. This non-strategy poster hangs in my classroom.




 

Need some problem solving activities that are enjoyable, offer variety, and increase interest?  Think Tank Questions is a 14 page handout that contains 46 various questions.  Most subject areas are included in the questions which are appropriate for grades 2-6.

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