I'm going to program in a day each week to teach and practice the different problem solving strategies, explicitly thinking about exploring problems that require different strategies.
I have been getting the students used to the key mathematical language they need to use in problem solving. We have talked about what 'strategy' means and how we can identify which is the best strategy to use to solve a problem. The class are now more able to talk about the difference between an operation and a calculation and they are becoming more confident in using appropriate language to talk about their mathematical thinking during problem solving activities.
We are talking about a different strategy each week, students take turns describing the strategy to a learning partner and then write a problem that uses that strategy. The students then present their problems to the class to solve. I have found when they write the problem themselves they seem to have to concentrate on the strategy they are using.
I like Michelle's idea about having a day a week. I am also going to set up a Problem of the Day/Week box in term 3, to help reinforce such strategies, using correct operations, working systematically etc...
Students responded positively to the problem solving tasks. All engaged in the activity and enjoyed finding different strategies to solve the problem. Using a scaffolded sheet with the 8 steps helped. - Cassandra
A lot of children found it hard to know where to start, some of them stumbled with the vocabulary - score = point. Need to help them with a starting point.
All students would benefit from more practice at more open-ended problem solving.
I almost forgot to do this. Worked through the problem solving steps today. Was really surprised at how well they identified the key words. Thanks.
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