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Problem Solving Top Ten List #3


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.

  1. Trying 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 should be asking...
  1. Have I shown an adequate amount of work to demonstrate what strategy 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 easier?
  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 mathematics teachers, what can we do in the
classroom to guide this kind of thinking?

A Go Figure Debut for a Clip Artist Who Is New!

Chermaine is the first Teachers Pay Teachers seller I have featured that lives outside of the United States. She is Malaysian; however, she resides in Singapore. For five years, she has taught science in secondary school, specializing in chemistry and physics. She currently has left school to start her own science and math learning center. She is also a local band vocalist, performing for charity shows regularly; so, singing is her forte!

In her store, The Cher Room, are 116 resources, five of which are free. Most of her items are clip art, with only about 5-6 items being learning aid materials. Presently, she is fully focusing on clip art (I love her work!) She already has quite a full assortment for biology and physics while chemistry, earth science and math sets are currently in the process of expansion and development.

To show her sincerity and determination in making Math Clip Art, her featured free item is a pizza fraction set that contains 12 graphics - six that are colored and six that are line art. Included in this set:
Free Item
  • Full Pizza
  • Half 
  • One-quarter
  • Three-quarters
  • One-eighth
  • Seven-eighths

Mega Bundle
One of her most popular sets is a non-science home set that Chermaine has chosen to be featured as her paid product. It is a mega bundle in which you get the ENTIRE HOME SERIES clip art for a total of 12 rooms/areas. Bundles are always great money savers on TPT!  She also sells this clip art in smaller bundles of four.

As a math instructor, I particularly love her perimeter and area clip art because she includes nine real life applications which are always hard to find. She also has 2-D and 3-D shape clip art, volume clip art and even clip art for the ever popular Pythagorean Theorem...something that is very difficult to obtain!

So if you are creating items for your science or math classroom or you just want quality clip art at a reasonable price, head on over to Chermaine's store where you will find a wealth of materials!