Mathematical Problem Solving Strategies

This paper will discuss the idea that problem solving is a process that needs to be understood by instructors so that they can develop better and more effective classroom activities and tasks.The necessary skills for problem solving as well as the methods and strategies to teach or facilitate them are discussed.

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First, the student is taught a 7-step process for attacking a math word problem (cognitive strategy).

Second, the instructor trains the student to use a three-part self-coaching routine for each of the seven problem-solving steps (metacognitive strategy). I will reread the problem if I don’t understand it.” Ask: “Now that I have read the problem, do I fully understand it‌” Check: “I understand the problem and will move forward.”Say: “I will highlight key words and phrases that relate to the problem question.” “I will restate the problem in my own words.” Ask: “Did I highlight the most important words or phrases in the problem‌” Check: “I found the key words or phrases that will help to solve the problem.”Say: “I will compute the answer to the problem.” Ask: “Does my answer sound right‌” “Is my answer close to my estimate‌” Check: “I carried out all of the operations in the correct order to solve this problem.”Students will benefit from close teacher support when learning to combine the 7-step cognitive strategy to attack math word problems with the iterative 3-step metacognitive Say-Ask-Check sequence.

If the instructors understanding of the process is limited, difficulties in teaching mathematical problem solving, will arise.

Hence the great need to understand these factors and skills if we want to help our students acquire this important process.

Mathematics is now used to quantify numerically and spatially natural as well as man-made situations.

It is used to solve problems and with the advent of the computer technology, it has helped in making social, economical and technological advances that few decades ago would have been unthinkable.To balance the equation, they can then subtract 7 from 89.Suppose students must find the difference of 567 and 153.My purpose here is to present some of these issues in order to stimulate discussions.Suggestions on how to facilitate certain aspects of mathematical problem solving, as I apply them in my classes, are also presented.Let’s say students must find the sum of 393 and 89.They should quickly see that adding 7 onto 393 will equal 400 — an easier number to work with.Solving an advanced math problem independently requires the coordination of a number of complex skills.The student must have the capacity to reliably implement the specific steps of a particular problem-solving process, or cognitive strategy.In fact one of the main difficulties in learning problem solving is the fact that many skills are needed for a learner to be an effective problem solver.Also, these factors and skills make the teaching of problem solving one of the most complex topic to teach.

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Comments Mathematical Problem Solving Strategies

  • Mathematical Practice and Problem Solving Preparing Your Teachers for.
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    Problem solving is important. “Students who develop proficiency in mathematical problem solving early are better prepared for advanced mathematics and other complex problem-solving tasks.” The panel recommends that problem solving be part of each curricular unit. Instruction in problem solving should begin in the earliest grades.…

  • Students’ Problem Solving Strategies in Problem Solving-mathematics.
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    Teaching approaches in mathematics classrooms have been changed to a more insight-based problem oriented process during the last decade van Oers, 2002addition, problem solving requires a variety of skills including interpreting information, planning and methodical working, checking results and trying alternative strategies Muir, Beswick, & Williamson, 2008.…

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    Mathematical problem solving strategies on students’ attitudes in middle school. The goal was to teach five problem solving strategies Drawing Pictures, Making a Chart or Table, Looking for a Pattern, Working Backwards, and Guess and Check, and have students reflect upon the process. I…

  • Metacognition thoughts on teaching mathematical problem solving skills.
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    William I really like your idea to explicitly teach problem solving skills in bite size chunks. I also really appreciate the emphasis on meta-cognitive skills and your specific definition of it. When I read your list, I thought it would be helpful for me to sit down with problems and practice metacognition myself, noticing what strategies I am.…

  • Polya's four-step approach to problem solving
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    To begin this task, we now discuss a framework for thinking about problem solving Polya’s four-step approach to problem solving. Polya's four-step approach to problem solving 1. Preparation Understand the problem Learn the necessary underlying mathematical concepts Consider the terminology and notation used in the problem 1.…

  • Introduction to Problem-Solving Strategies
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    Naturally come to use these same problem-solving strategies not only to solve mathematical problems but also to resolve problems in everyday life. This transfer of learning back and forth can be best realized by introducing problem-solving strategies in both mathematical and real-life situations concomitantly.…

  • Teaching mathematical problem solving - Startsida
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    Teaching mathematical problem solving / november 1987 besöktes lärarhögskolan i Mölndal av en världsberömd problemlösningsexpert, professor Frank Lester, Indiana, USA. Hans mycket uppskattade föreläsning publiceras nu i Nämnaren. All mathematics educators agree that problem solving is a very important, if not the most important goal, of…

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    R-- Remember the problem correctly I-- Identify the relevant information D-- Determine the operations and unit for expressing the answer E-- Enter the correct numbers, calculate and check the answer…

  • Instruction/Mathematics/Teacher Tools/Explicitly Model Mathematics.
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    What Mathematics Problem Solving Strategies can I teach my students? Mathematics problem solving strategies that have research support or that have been field tested with students can be accessed by clicking on the link below. These strategies are organized according to mathematics concept/skill area.…

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