The foundation for success in advanced mathematics is built on problem solving skills. Problem solving requires strong skills in reasoning, analysis, and argument construction, and the ability to apply innovative strategies to find a solution. While these skills should be taught at all levels, it's especially important to help students develop them as progress toward the more complex math concepts they will learn in high school.

To help students become skilled problem solvers in grades 4 through 8, teachers can prepare problems to use in whole-class instruction; provide explicit problem-solving instruction that teaches students to use visual representations, employ multiple strategies, and links mathematical concepts and notation to problems; and allow time to reflect and debrief on their strategies and solutions with classmates.

To learn more about the research underlying these practices, view the IES Practice Guide, Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8.

  • Items 37 - 47 of 47

Sort by:

Planning and Adapting Problems

Instructional leaders and teachers can use this planning worksheet to guide adaptation of problems to ensure that students understand a problem. The goal is to develop problems that allow students...

Tool
Document
02/14/2014
816 views
Lesson Pre-Conference

Lesson Pre-Conference

Listen in as a mathematics coach works with a teacher to plan problems for students who are struggling with subtraction problems. The coach helps the teacher unpack students’ issues, and then she...

School Example
Video
02/14/2014
526 views
Coach Talk: Preparing for Problem Solving

Coach Talk: Preparing for Problem Solving

Listen in as two mathematics coaches discuss being strategic in the selection of problems and planning for classroom discussions including use of the Pre-Conference Planning Form. Related...

School Example
Video
02/13/2014
484 views
Designing Worthwhile Problems

Designing Worthwhile Problems

The two practitioners on the IES Panel discuss how to plan for problem solving in today's diverse classrooms. Philip Ogbuehi is Mathematics Specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District,...

Expert Interview
Video
02/13/2014
424 views
Preparing Problems for Classroom Instruction

Preparing Problems for Classroom Instruction

Watch this multimedia overview to learn what a teacher should keep in mind when selecting problems, including suggestions for how to adapt problems to ensure that students can focus on mathematical...

Overview
Video
02/13/2014
633 views

Problem Solving Planning Template #4

This tool shows alignment with Common Core State Standards, for planning professional development.

Planning Template
Document
02/13/2014
1256 views

Problem Solving Planning Template #1

For working with schools on identifing the strategies that are already in place to support effective problem-solving instruction and determine what additional steps could be taken to strengthen...

Planning Template
Document
02/13/2014
1665 views

Problem Solving Planning Template #2

For working with districts on recommendations from the IES Practice Guide on problem-solving instruction. The intent is for district leaders to apply the recommendations to the design of...

Planning Template
Document
02/13/2014
726 views

Problem Solving Planning Template #3

For working with state education agencies on setting a policy climate for improving teacher quality in math, specifically related to problem solving.

Planning Template
Document
02/13/2014
742 views
The Components of Problem Solving

The Components of Problem Solving

Dr. John Woodward describes the IES Panel's five recommendations related to the problem-solving process and shows different types of problems.  

Expert Interview
Video
02/13/2014
568 views
Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8

This multimedia overview explains why problem solving should be part of teaching in all math topics, describing the different types of problems that teachers in grades 4-8 might use, and the...

Overview
Video
02/13/2014
602 views
  • Items 37 - 47 of 47