*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.*

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.

## Comments Teaching Math Problem Solving Strategies

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