Problem Solving
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 1 - 12 of 47
Sort by:
Observation Note-Taking: Reflections on Multiple Approaches to Problem Solving
Learning Together About Using Visuals That Support Problem Solving
Recommended For You
Tool
Connecting Visuals to Problem Types
Math coaches and teachers can use this tool as a quick reference for examples of visual representations for different types of problems. See the sample material, Using Visual Representations for...
Planning Template
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
Problem Solving Planning Template #4
This tool shows alignment with Common Core State Standards, for planning professional development.
Sample Material
Pre-Conference Planning Form
Elementary math coaches in the Papillion-La Vista School District use a lesson pre-conference planning form with teachers. Coaches work with teachers to consider goals and students’ experience and...
Tool
Coaching Checklist for Problem Planning
Instructional leaders and mathematics coaches can use this self-assessment to reflect on their practices in supporting teachers to plan lessons and to guide students in learning to be competent...
Tool
Learning Together About Using Visuals That Support Problem Solving
Math coaches can use this tool to help elementary and middle school teachers learn about the role of visual representations in problem solving through a series of professional development...