Four Step Problem Solving

Four Step Problem Solving-29
With younger children it is worth repeating the problem and then asking them to put the question in their own words.Older children might use a highlighter pen to mark and emphasise the most useful parts of the problem.It will almost always be necessary to read a problem several times, both at the start and during working on it.

With younger children it is worth repeating the problem and then asking them to put the question in their own words.Older children might use a highlighter pen to mark and emphasise the most useful parts of the problem.It will almost always be necessary to read a problem several times, both at the start and during working on it.

This is useful to show others what they have done and it is also helpful in finding errors should the right answer not be found.

At this point many children, especially mathematically able ones, will stop.

But Problem Solving also contributes to mathematics itself.

It is part of one whole area of the subject that, until fairly recently, has largely passed unnoticed in schools around the world. The skills are things that we are all familiar with.

Naturally enough, Problem Solving is about solving problems.

And we’ll restrict ourselves to thinking about mathematical problems here even though Problem Solving in school has a wider goal.If we have some sort of formula, or expression, for any height, then we can substitute into that formula to get the answer for height three, for instance.So the "any" height formula is a generalisation of the height three case. Then we get34 → 17 → 52 → 26 → 13 → 40 → 20 → 10 → 5 → 16 → 8 → 4 → 2 → 1We certainly got to 1 then. Well we can extend this problem, make another problem that’s a bit like it, by just changing the 3 to 5.By "method" we mean the means used to get an answer.This will generally involve one or more Problem Solving Strategies. Although we have listed the Four Stages of Problem Solving in order, for difficult problems it may not be possible to simply move through them consecutively to produce an answer.So a problem about three pigs may be changed into one which has any number of pigs. The answer to this problem will contain the answer to the previous three questions.There we were asked for the number of towers of height one, two and three.When you think about it, the whole aim of education is to equip children to solve problems.In the Mathematics Curriculum therefore, Problem Solving contributes to the generic skill of problem solving in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.This is the side of the subject that is largely represented in the Strands of Number, Algebra, Statistics, Geometry and Measurement.On the other hand, the processes of mathematics are the ways of using the skills creatively in new situations. As such it is to be found in the Strand of Mathematical Processes along with Logic and Reasoning, and Communication.

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