Problem Solving Strategy

Anyone who has taught maths for any length of time will know how difficult it can be to teach pupils to solve maths problems out of context. There are a number of strategies that can be used to solve maths problems, as follows: Creating a diagram can help mathematicians to picture the problem and find the solution.Present pupils with a familiar setting or a sum that they've tackled before then they're usually fine, but turn it into an unfamiliar problem then it's a different matter. To create a diagram, the problem must be read carefully and the information that has been given to them in the question drawn into the diagram.Once the pattern has been identified, the students can predict what will happen next and then continue the pattern to find the correct solution.

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I have used them with the classes that I've worked with in KS2 to great effect.

Giving children the experience of using these maths problem solving strategies will provide themv with a really useful toolkit for their maths arsenal as well as making them more confident when presented with a maths problem.

When this happens the students will be able to make the problem more simple by dividing it into smaller and easiest steps, such as rewording the problem using smaller numbers.

These strategies are really useful in helping to solve maths problems.

I therefore distinguish the universal strategies from field specific tactics.

As a young assistant professor I was looking for a desk.However, in the same ways that we teach strategies for other areas of maths, we can also teach strategies to solve maths problems. The first and most important step is to read the problem carefully to understand what you're asked to find out and what information you have been given. They can then work out the solution from the diagram that has been drawn.When solving maths problems, students should be encouraged to follow a general problem solving procedure. Underlining the important information is also useful so you have all the important numbers/facts to hand. The guess and check strategy can be helpful for many types of problems.This is actually a problem solver learning process: looking back at the just solved problem, make a note as to what features made the problem solvable by the method you employed.One of the best problem solving strategies is do something; do not get (and stay) flustered if you do not see a solution to a problem right away.This strategy requires students to use the information they have been given in the question to eliminate possible solutions to finally discover the correct solution.When students use this strategy they look for a pattern from the information that has been given.There are strategies of problem solving that are applicable to solving problems in any human endeavor.But every field and every situation call for specific knowledge and specific habits of mind to apply to solving problems.At the time of writing, this site contained about 5500 pages, at least one third of which is devoted to solving problems, many of olympiad caliber.It may take time to classify them as to the problem solving tactics employed, but I plan to do that in a systematic manner.


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