This year, I wrote five posts about problem solving; so, now it is time for that end-of-the-year teacher quiz. Let's see how you do. Which of the following would be considered a story or word problem and which of the following would be "problem solving" or a process problem?
Want the answers for the problems above?
Check out the page above entitled: Answers to Problems.
The first step in the problem
solving process is to correctly identify the problem. The next is to explore,
identify, and choose a problem solving strategy. The third step in the process
is to correctly implement the strategy chosen.But what happens when a student swears his/her strategy isn’t
working?Usually, they have a problem solving
habit that I might categorize as “malfunctioning” (not effective).Let’s look at the worst problem solving
habits that some of your students just might have.
Top Ten Worst Problem Solving Habits
to do it all in your head; not writing anything down. 2)Arbitrarily
choosing a strategy. 3)Staying
with a strategy when it is not working. 4)Giving
up on a strategy too early. 5)Getting
fixated on a single strategy and trying to use it for everything. 6)Not
asking yourself: “Does this make sense?” 7)Being
afraid to ask for help. 8)Not
checking your answer. 9)Not
noticing patterns. 10)Going
through the motions instead of thinking.
The student shouldbe asking…
1)Have I shown an adequate amount of work to
demonstrate what strategy (ies) I have used?
2)Is there more than one strategy which I could use to
solve this problem?
3)Does choosing one strategy over another make the implementation
4)Does the strategy I have chosen use any tables,
charts, formulas or properties I need to review?
5)What technology or manipulatives could I use to help
me solve the problem?
As math teachers, what can we do in the classroom to
guide this kind of thinking?