Mathematics Problem Solving Strategies

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Solving an advanced math problem independently requires the coordination of a number of complex skills.

The student must have the capacity to reliably implement the specific steps of a particular problem-solving process, or cognitive strategy.

In these lessons, we will learn some math problem solving strategies for example Verbal Model (or Logical Reasoning), Algebraic Model, Block Model (or Singapore Math), Guess & Check Model and Find a Pattern Model.

Draw a diagram/picture Solution Strategies Label Variables Verbal Model or Logical Reasoning Algebraic Model - Translate Verbal Model to Algebraic Model Solve and Check.

We discussed these thinking strategies: To make sure they were getting in practice utilizing these thinking strategies, I gave each group chart paper with a letter from a fellow “student” (not a real student), and they had to give advice on how to help them solve their problem using the thinking strategies above.

Finally, This is the step that students often miss. I went over it with them, discussing that when they check their problems, they should always look for these things: Then, I gave students practice cards.

If it wasn’t, then they needed to tell what they missed and correct it. I just reminded students frequently of this acronym. Wow, you are a true trooper sticking it out in this lengthy post!

To demonstrate their understanding of the entire unit, we completed an adorable lap book (my first time ever putting together one or even creating one – I was surprised how well it turned out, actually). To sum up the majority of what I have written here, I have some problem-solving bookmarks FREE to help you remember and to help your students!

Every year they moan and groan that they know them. In the past, I had used worksheet pages that would introduce one and provide the students with plenty of problems practicing that one strategy.

I did like that because students could focus more on practicing the strategy itself, but I also wanted students to know when to use it, too, so I made sure they had both to practice.


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