Teaching Math Problem Solving Strategies

This is because the participants are so engrossed in the mechanics of what they are doing that they don’t see through to the underlying mathematics.

This is because the participants are so engrossed in the mechanics of what they are doing that they don’t see through to the underlying mathematics.

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You might think of a diagram as anything that you can draw which isn’t a picture.

But where do you draw the line between a picture and a diagram?

But all children should be encouraged to use this strategy at some point because it helps children ‘see’ the problem and it can develop into quite a sophisticated strategy later.

It’s hard to know where Drawing a Picture ends and Drawing a Diagram begins.

There are a number of common strategies that children of primary age can use to help them solve problems.

We discuss below several that will be of value for problems on this web-site and in books on problem solving.

Since there are problems where using equipment is a better strategy than drawing, you should encourage children’s use of equipment by modelling its use yourself from time to time.3 Draw It is fairly clear that a picture has to be used in the strategy Draw a Picture. It should only contain enough detail to solve the problem.

Hence a rough circle with two marks is quite sufficient for chickens and a blob plus four marks will do for pigs.

You will see that each strategy we have in our list is really only a summary of two or more others.1 Guess This stands for two strategies, guess and check and guess and improve. This is a strategy that would certainly work on the Farmyard problem but it could take a lot of time and a lot of computation.

Because it is such a simple strategy to use, you may have difficulty weaning some children away from guess and check.

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