• A Problem Solving Model:



    As math teachers, we are constantly looking for new ways to stretch our students" way of thinking.  An important component of mathematics instruction is teaching students to think through the process of solving a problem.


    Getting Started on Problem Solving:


    Below is a guide for your students to use when working through difficult word problems.  As you start using this strategy with your students, they will need to write this out on their paper.  This is a thinking process and the ultimate goal is for the student to be able to do this process mentally.



    1.  Understand
    Key Words
    Unknown Words
    Rewrite the Question
    2.  Plan
    What strategy are you going
    to use to solve the Problem?
    I am going to....
    1.  Act out/use manipulatives
    2.  Draw a picture/diagram    
    3.  Make a table/chart            
    4.  Make an organized list     
    5.  Look for a pattern             
    6.  Work backwards               
    7.  Solve a similar problem    
    3.  Solve
    Work out the problem.
    Use the strategy you picked.
    4.  Check
    Work the Problem backwards
    Draw a picture
    Is the answer reasonable?
    1.  In the UNDERSTAND section, students will write down any key words in the word problem, any     vocabulary words to be aware of, as well as any words that they are unaware of the meaning.
    The student will also rewrite the question in their own words.  A strategy for students to use would also be to circle the question mark and underline the sentence before it.
    2.  In the PLAN section, students will write out a plan of how they intend to solve the word problem.  For example, if the student is going to draw a picture, they will write out they they plan to draw a picture to solve the problem.
    3.  In the SOLVE section, this is where the students will do the math.
    4.  In the CHECK section, this is where the students will check to see if they arrived at the correct answer.  Suggestions are for the students to work the problem backwards or draw an picture.  Also, students need to ask themselves if the answer is reasonable.
    Please Remember:
    As you are working with your students through this process, the key is to model the thinking process with your class. 
    Using a journal in the Mathematics classroom is an important part of problem solving.  Interactive journals are not just for Science anymore!
Last Modified on August 24, 2018